When 4th Grade Dreams Come True



When I graduated the fourth grade, I wrote in the back of my yearbook that I wanted to be an “inventor.” Years following, I realized that there was no major for inventing in college, and so I pursued engineering instead (basically the equivalent of inventing). My 10-year-old-self wanted to express my creativity and solve problems with new ideas, products, and designs for the world. Fast forward 10 years and I am doing just that in Hong Kong.

I made this realization today, actually. For half of my life now, I have been fully committed to my dream of becoming an engineer. My only concern in college has been what I wanted to do with engineering. The field is so broad…I can work for petroleum plants, space shuttles, automotive facilities, or at a manufacturing factory. However, at career fairs and and on job application websites, I rarely found an engineering position that suited my interests until my internship this summer.

I truly had little expectation coming in. My short interview in the winter left me a little confused as to what I would be doing; all I knew was that I may be working with automation and robotics. I came in on the first day, intimidated, but also beyond excited when I found out that I would be working with a client that specializes in product design and innovation for the next 8 weeks. I had considered industrial and product design as a minor since High School (as it goes hand in hand with inventing) and so here was an opportunity for me to be exposed to both product design and engineering.

For the past three weeks I have been doing intensive research to gain background knowledge but also to look at areas in which their company’s new product idea could be improved in costs, manufacturing, moving mechanisms, and so on. The best part is that I can voice my opinions and share my new ideas. For the past few weeks I have been on the computer conducting research and preparing for my weekly presentation.Today, however, was different. They had me take apart one of their products/inventions to see how it worked and how it can be applied to their new product. My eyes lit up when they said “take apart”. 1 hour later my working table had metals, screws, and tools scattered. (That’s the secret to making an engineer excited, just say the words “take apart”). Then I found out that their goal for me by the end of my 8 weeks is to design their new product using computer aided software and then develop it into a real-life proof of concept. While I cannot disclose what is being made, essentially, it is advanced automated robotics.

Basically, what they were telling me was that they had an idea and a rough design and that I had to figure out how it could actually be done, essentially, to invent it. 10 years after graduating the fourth grade, I am in Hong Kong, doing exactly what I pictured. It is truly amazing to think that youthful, idealistic goals can be attainable. I feel grateful to say the least. Grateful to the support of my family and friends all these years and grateful to The University of Georgia and Fund for Education Abroad for funding my dream as it is unfolding and coming true.

Exploring Hong Kong while repping UGA