Written by: Grace Moore
Sneha Sinha @engineerlikealady
On average, college students change their majors 3 times before finally settling on one. For thousands of high school seniors, the start of that journey begins as they pick their first major.
For 22-year-old Sneha Sinha, this was exactly the case. Despite the female percentage of her future feild being less than 30 percent, she jumped into a field that many would not even consider.
“I'm an industrial engineering student, graduating in the fall with a focus in engineering management; and, honestly I never saw myself going into engineering, I never even really grew up with a clear concept of what I wanted to do in college. I've always been kinda bad at math and science, and I love the arts more than anything,” Sinha said. ”I also did speech and debate in high school so I knew that I loved being a people person and a leader.”
Sinha chose engineering in college because she realized that it would help ensure a secure and stable career, even if she didn't want to do what most consider "hard" engineering later on.
“I chose industrial engineering specifically because it was the perfect blend of business and people-work with engineering principles,” Sinha said. “Basically, learning how to think about, manage, and organize systems which is so relevant in literally any field. The broad nature of the major drew me in, because it really equips me to work well in any field.”
Sinha recommends to any high school or college student who is struggling to pick engineering, because no matter where that student goes after college, their skills will be needed and they will be able to find job security.
“You can utilize an engineering degree to negotiate a higher salary and generally to sell yourself better to your dream job. If you're unsure of what you want to study, go to a university where you have a lot of options and flexibility to switch majors,” Sinha said. “I highly recommend students to take the responsibility to round themselves out as human beings outside of the classroom. Join clubs- and not just engineering ones- go to events, meet new people!”
Outside of working hard and studying for her engineering degree, Sinha also uses her social media platform to inspire other young women of color and is working on a startup called Parachute Media as the chief operating officer. Parachute is an inclusive media brand, for and by womxn of color, that leverages the power of a lasting community to drive culturally relevant content and experiences around shared goals and identities.
“Parachute started in March, so we're still in really early stages of building our team and launching our product. Sinha said. “I've always had an inkling of passion for entrepreneurship since high school but never had the drive or the right people to do anything with it. I got connected with the founder, Ochuko (@ochuko_ar) via a mutual connection on LinkedIn and that's how I joined the founding team. I already feel like Parachute is my baby and I can't wait to see where it goes! It's been really interesting starting a media company during a time when a lot of media companies are sinking right now, but it's also a really unique opportunity to utilize them as case studies so we can learn how to make our business flexible to our community's needs over time.”
Sinha says she is also building an instagram blog/community, actively working on anti-racism, and focusing on loving herself more actively. She gets to communicate with many like-minded people everyday through her social media.
“The best part is definitely meeting other girls who relate to my experience - I could count on one hand all the girls I was close to in my major, and it's so exciting to meet more girls like me,” Sinha said. ”Also being able to speak my truth to an audience who understands, I feel like I get to empower girls in a way that no one else empowered me”