What is your name and where are you from?

Irene Cabanas born in Miami

What degree are you pursuing?

BS in Biomedical Engineering

Why did you decide to study biomedical engineering?

I had a neighbor who was a doctor and I was really inspired by the stories he would tell me. The thought of of being the reason as to why someone lives or changing their lives for the better is what keeps me going.

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?

Being a woman I engineering can be difficult at times. Some think that I am incapable of doing certain things in my engineering classes because I am a woman. I definitely get treated differently sometimes.

What is the most challenging part about being an engineer? 

The most difficult part in being an engineer right now is the fact that I’m viewed as incapable of certain things because of my gender and it has been difficult to find internships to gain experience in the field.

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

I am part of Best Buddies, Alternative Breaks, and Greek life.

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

I honestly look up to Michelle Obama

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

I am excited to start working in the field and gaining experience in the different branches of BME to see what I am most passionate about.

Do you have any advice for women in BME?

Don’t give up. When people criticize you, use that as fuel to keep going and pursuing your dreams. Prove everyone wrong and be an amazing woman engineer.