Breona Jenkins, an undergraduate student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is among the top of her class for academic achievement and leadership. On track to graduate in the spring of 2013, Jenkins is the recipient of the Jack C. Webb Scholarship, Women in Engineering Scholarship, and the Atlanta Gas Light Scholarship. In addition to her high honors, Jenkins holds several leadership and extracurricular positions such as Tau Beta initiate, FASET leader, Kids@Kollege committee chair, peer advisor for the Office of International Education, Team BUZZ project coordinator, and member of the Mentor and Mentee Program with Women in Engineering.
Read the following interview to learn more about Breona.
ISyE: Finish the sentence: Few people know that…
BJ: My two passions are dancing and Spanish. I am the vice president of the Spanish Speaking Organization, and a member of the Ballroom Dance Club at Georgia Tech. I studied abroad last summer in Spain and Mexico, and hope to travel back one day soon. If I could use my engineering skills to assist in furthering the development of the Mexican infrastructure, it would be a dream.
ISyE: Is there any one person who has been an inspiration to you or someone that you consider your hero? Who and why?
BJ: My mother is my inspiration. As a soldier for the Army Reserve, she is also my hero. She has always been there for me to encourage me in my pursuits, advise me when I have a problem, and give me confidence in my abilities. She is a strong woman who has shown me that I can overcome any struggles that I may have in life.
ISyE: Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from originally?
BJ: Originally born in Flint, MI, I moved to Woodstock, GA in 2005 and where I attended high school. I enjoy music, cooking, reading, rock climbing, and being involved on campus to meet new people.
ISyE: What motivated you to come to Georgia Tech?
BJ: Georgia Tech is an amazing Institute and always in the top ten of public colleges in the nation. That reputation attracted me to Tech. In high school, I loved math and science, and I felt that Tech would give me an opportunity to pursue my interests and guide me to a career path that I would love.
I initially came to Georgia Tech as pre-architecture, but after completing a Senior Project with two practicing architects, I decided that it was not my passion. Still fascinated with science and math, I decided to pursue engineering. After much research, I chose industrial engineering, as it would offer me great flexibility in my choice of profession, and I would have the opportunity to interact with both people and machines on a daily basis.
ISyE: I understand that you participate in the Co-op program. Tell me about your experience.
BJ: I am in my second rotation as a co-op at Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software company where I work as a consultant. My day-to-day job includes testing issues, creating reports for the issues, and participating in conference calls with clients to resolve any concerns they have.
ISyE: What has been your favorite IE course so far?
BJ: ISyE 2028. I learned the software “R” and found that Statistics is a powerful tool that can be utilized in everyday life. Also, my professor, Heeyoung Kim, was enthusiastic about her position and made me excited about statistics as well.
ISyE: What is something every student should do while at Georgia Tech?
BJ: Every student at Tech should see a DramaTech play, go to a show at the Ferst Theater, spend a night in Tech Rec, and take advantage of the facilities in the CRC.
ISyE: Tell me about a favorite ISyE experience you have had.
BJ: I found my probability class quite interesting, especially after I started to fully understand it. One day, my professor was speaking on a particular topic and he proclaimed, “It’s like magic. It is magic, in fact. It’s probability!” It was one of the funniest moments in my ISyE career.
ISyE: What are your prospective career goals?
BJ: In the future, I hope to help others through service and through my profession. I would like to have a career that involves some travelling, holds my interests and challenges me, and also allows me to help humanity in some way - no matter how small or large. One of my biggest goals is to own a restaurant. It would be wonderful to use my engineering skills to be successful in the culinary arena.
ISyE: What was the last book you read for pleasure?
BJ: Crossfire by Dick and Felix Francis. Now I am reading I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.
ISyE: What piece of technology could you not live without?
BJ: I could not live without my laptop. I store all pictures, music, and documents on it and it has been with me through all of my college years.
ISyE: What music do you listen to?
BJ: I love all music. Especially John Mayer, Teena Marie, Usher, NeverShoutNever, Reik, and Linkin Park.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
BJ: Campanile hands down. It’s a reminder of the beauty and focus of the Tech community, and the changing of the colors is reminiscent of the growth that each student experiences while at Tech.
ISyE: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
BJ: Life is what you make it.
ISyE: What advice would you give a student considering coming to Georgia Tech to study at ISyE?
BJ: I would suggest that the student keeps an open mind, studies hard, and explores different options in the ISyE major, as well as the clubs and organizations at Tech.
Industrial and Systems Engineering