What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Ana Valentin and I am from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

What degree are you pursuing?

I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering.

Why did you decide to study biomedical engineering?

Studying biomedical engineering (BME) was an easy decision once I realized that my strengths lie in science and mathematics.  After parting ways with my dream of becoming a lawyer, I knew that I wanted to help advance the medical field after taking care of my late grandfather who had terminal lung cancer.  BME gives me the ability to be creative and do something I truly love and enjoy while serving others through my work.

What’s it like being a woman in engineering? Do you feel that your gender gives you a different perspective and/or experience from your male colleagues?

I think being a woman in engineering, particularly BME, gives a woman an advantage in terms of patience and their natural nurturing attitude.  Women are more inclined to take care of the people around them and help them resolve problems, which is what engineering is all about.  Being able to take that and translate it into a product, formula, or research that can enhance the lives of patients and people in need is amazing.

What is the most challenging part about being an engineer?

Studying engineering will always be difficult because of the amount of material being covered in a short amount of time.  As a woman in engineering, sometimes being underestimated can be difficult but you find yourself using that to your advantage and using that negative energy from others to fuel your work.

Are you a part of any clubs or organizations at FIU? Carried any leadership roles?

I am currently a Panther Camp Facilitator for summer 2019 and work for the Office of Orientation and Family Programs. I am the social media chair for Panthers Unite in Support of Health (PUSH).  I am also a member of the Catholic Panthers and their women’s ministry.

Do you have any female mentors or role models that you look up to?

I look up to Sana Nasim greatly.  She is a graduate student at FIU and shows grace and diligence in all the work she does.  My friends and I constantly talk about how much we wish to be like her someday and how she is an engineering queen.

Which part about your BME experience are you most proud of and/or excited for?

I am most excited to apply my knowledge of BME into the creation of products that will be useful to real people someday. I also hope to be a role model to younger students and show them that through hard work, they can do anything they set their mind to.

Do you have any advice for women in BME?

Live your life in service of others.  The moment your work becomes about serving others rather than serving yourself, success and monetary gain will follow.