In 2013, during the summer before my senior year in high school, I attended Mission Possible, an ISyE program designed to introduce high school students to the field of industrial engineering. My dad earned his Ph.D. in industrial engineering at Purdue and encouraged me to try out this major. I Google-searched “Georgia Tech industrial engineering camps for high school students” and found Mission Possible. While it was only for five days, Mission Possible completely changed me from thinking, “Georgia Tech is a top engineering school” to “This is exactly where I belong.”
At the camp, we explored campus and received an overview of industrial engineering through hands-on activities and field trips. We interacted with professors and several current ISyE students. As a high school student, I really looked up to these incredibly intelligent and motivated people who were only a couple years older than me. This motivated me to push myself to the limit to achieve my goals.
One of the many people who stood out to me during Mission Possible was Stephanie Kalman, IE 2009 and MBA 2015. We walked across the street from campus to visit the Coca-Cola Company headquarters, where Kalman co-oped as an undergraduate and then joined full-time after she graduated. She gave us a presentation of what she did as an industrial engineer at Coca-Cola. I was inspired by her career path, and I knew that I had found the perfect school and major for me.
I have finished my first year at ISyE and am now in my sophomore year. It has been an amazing experience so far. One of my favorite things about industrial engineering is its endless career possibilities and how it helps me build a mindset to make systems more efficient and effective for people in everyday life. While the program is not easy, Georgia Tech offers plenty of resources for students to succeed, such as the TA help desk, one-on- one tutoring, and group tutoring sessions. In only one year, my mind, my attitudes, and my social skills have all been challenged.
Georgia Tech’s ISyE program has given me new perspectives and many opportunities. I have maintained contact with Kalman, keeping her in the loop about my freshman year and future plans. It is astounding how two years ago, during my first time at Georgia Tech, I was inspired to pursue an industrial engineering degree from visiting the Coca-Cola headquarters. Now I am very excited to have received a co-op offer at Coca-Cola, and I will start working there this fall for the next three alternating semesters.
I am very thankful to have attended Mission Possible and for its positive impact on me. I hope future high school participants take advantage of this program and have the same great experience I did or better. It’s truly an honor to be at Georgia Tech, especially the No. 1-ranked school for industrial and systems engineering.