Hi guys! My name is Vikram Prasad, and I’m a senior majoring and co-terming in Electrical Engineering. That said, coming into Stanford, I wasn’t totally sure that engineering was for me. It seemed intimidating in how much time the coursework took, but also in the number of paths I could take to be an engineer. I knew being an engineer would equip me with the skills to design, prototype, and build. But, navigating all the opportunities afforded to us at Stanford was difficult. Many potential engineers come to Stanford with a rough idea of they want to work on, but are not exactly sure how to pursue it. Some people are like me; I just wanted to build stuff. This problem is something I’m attempting to address as a leader in the Stanford Engineering Endeavors Committee.
This committee is just in its second year and is attempting to curb the intimidation factor that undergraduate engineers feel as they decide their vocation. More specifically, we are commissioned by the School of Engineering to help guide these undergraduates as they endeavor to work on cutting-edge, contemporary problems on which they yearn to solve. As such, we have two main tasks. The first is that we poll the undergraduate populations to see which topics students want to work on/wished they work on. The next is to then package and publish the information to provide a rough infrastructure that will allow students to achieve those goals. For example, for a given topic, we could suggest which classes to take, which research labs to join, which clubs to participate, etc. This information can help students figure out what is the best way to develop their engineering skills to tackle the problem. Moreover, this can also help students think more critically about what they themselves would like to accomplish during their time at Stanford, something that would have benefited me as an underclassman.
I highly recommend you take a look at the Committee’s first report, which will be published in the coming months. The advice available here can also be qualified by someone already in the path that you’d like to follow. I also encourage you to look towards the Tau Beta Pi network to find such a person. He or she could help you make the difference in the world that you so desire.