By Rahul Lall, Junior, Electrical Engineering

Rahul loves stand-up comedy, spending late nights in coffee shops, and showing off his extremely mediocre basketball skills.

Why did you choose to be an engineer?

I wanted coffee to be my new best friend.

When I first came to Stanford, I think electrical engineering was not a field that was really on the radar for me. I was a bio buff in high school and for years before, and was undoubtedly settled on becoming a doctor, or so I thought. It’s jokingly thrown around that basically everyone in college goes through a premed phase, and yeah, well I was one of THOSE people. I actually remember the exact day I decided to become EE sitting at a Starbucks next to Zareens, but though it came to me rather randomly I have never regretted the decision ever since. I didn’t really realize what kinds of things I enjoyed studying until I got to Stanford, and spent most of Freshman year trying out a bunch of unrelated classes and hopping around a bunch of different research labs. I realized that I was not the best at engineering but that when I solved a problem or finally understood a concept that I thought was quite difficult, it gave me a sense of fulfillment that is like no other.

I love that engineering doesn’t really force ideas onto you, but rather gives you a toolbox of knowledge that you can customize to understand and tinker with the world. In this way, EE has not banished my love from bio from ever resurfacing. It is an extremely multidisciplinary field, which makes this toolbox of knowledge that much more valuable. Even now, I have been working in a magnetic bio-nanotechnology lab focused on making electronic diagnostic devices for the last two years, and I strongly believe this may be my niche. It just amazes me that you can use concepts from one field to solve complex and pressing problems in a seemingly unrelated field of study.

Another aspect of EE I have really really enjoyed has been the community. It’s definitely one of the smaller major communities on campus, but that’s what makes it really special. You get close to and really get to know the people you spend hours working in Packard basement with, in Bytes, in EE108 lab, and even in the kitchenette on Packard second floor. The experience can be rough sometimes, but there are reliable, brilliant, and rather quirky people there with you along the way.

I’m currently a junior right now, but am planning on applying to PhD programs next year, so hopefully the memories don’t end too soon haha *fingers crossed*

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