What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Melissa Fernandez and I was born here but my parents are from Cuba.

What degree are you pursuing?

I am pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering and will be attending Medical School in the future. 

Why did you decide to study biomedical engineering?

I decided to become a Biomedical Engineer because I need to know the how and why things happen and I believe this degree will provide me with the perfect foundation for medical school.

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 engineer makes me work harder because I know that not only is this the perfect field for me, but I will be able to lead by example and influence other young women to pursue a degree in engineering. 

What is the most challenging part about being an engineer?

The most challenging part of being an engineer is staying motivated and positive through all the bumps in the road. 

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

I am a new member of Phi Delta Epsilon, medical fraternity. 

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

One role model that I really look up to is my mom. She studied Chemical Engineering in Cuba and has never stopped working hard and pursuing her dreams here in the United States. 

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

My proudest moment in my BME experience was simply making the switch to this major. It has made me so happy and has kept me motivated. I am excited for all the BME electives and classes that are to come in my near future and how they will apply to my future in medical school. 

Do you have any advice for women in BME?

My only advice is that to keep going! It only goes up from here!