Why did you select Penn State for graduate school?
I came to Penn State during the summer of 2011 as part of the RET NSF MRSEC Program. During six weeks I receive hands-on experience in developing RF resonators to be tested with an MRI scanner. This experience made me realize how much I enjoy working on research, especially in the electromagnetic application fields. It was actually this opportunity that open my eyes and made me apply to graduate school. Through the whole program I also had the opportunity to learn about the university, I visit various labs and attended different seminars. Therefore, when I began the application process Penn State was the top contestant. After I came back for a second time to the graduate open house, I had the opportunity to interview with different faculty members. During this time Dr. Werner was especially very welcoming and through the various conversations we had about the research work done at the Computational Electromagnetics and Antenna Research Laboratory (CEARL), it definitely seem like a match with my research interest.
How did you become interested in electrical engineering?
My interest in engineering dates back to my years in high school, I always had special interest in science and math, so being an engineer seems a perfect career path for me. Which engineering? That was the problem! The answer to that crusade came to me fortunately during my first year of studies as an undergraduate student at the UIPR, after taking the Electric Fundamental course with Prof. Muñiz. He made the course so dynamic imparting the course theory but also talking about applications, I immediately knew that my area of studies had to be EE.
What do you like most about the electrical engineering graduate program?
As an engineer you have to be willing to learn and adapt, which makes problem solving a crucial ability. The electrical Engineering program at Penn State encourages the students to get immerse in research since the first year. This embodies the students with skills necessary to succeed in their studies and research work. Consequently you may have the opportunity to participate in conferences and published papers since the beginning, which is a key factor when you are pursuing a Ph.D. Also the graduate program faculty and staff is always there to help you keep in track and answer any question, you know you can count with the support needed through this challenging part of your life.
Any advice to prospective students?
Applying to graduate school is a very important step in your life. Your happiness and quality of life for the next four to five years, in part, will be dictated by the graduate university you choose. Also it is necessary to evaluate the quality and learning experience of your chosen graduate program, and the future prospectus you may have after you finished. For this reasons try to visit the graduate school, talk to people specially the graduate students that are working for your potential advisor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Furthermore, another key factor in your success is to know all the details of your department policies and any possible changes that may affect you. That will help you address your efforts to the right direction in order to obtain your desired degree.