Mechanical Engineering Senior Alexandra Ray has spent her undergraduate career exploring a variety of diverse experiences -- including pursuing a minor in photography, a concentration in energy, and a certificate of proficiency in Spanish; to engaging in extracurricular activities through Alpha Omega Epsilon and the Drexel Salsa Club.
“I’ve loved every single one of my extracurricular experiences,” Ray says, focusing on how appreciative she is to have been a member of Alpha Omega Epsilon. “I’ve held over six different chair positions and I was even the secretary for half a year. I think the best part of being in the organization is that it’s an opportunity to hang out with other girls in my major. It’s a professional and social sorority, but it allows you to be with people who understand your homework, major and interests, without having to do those things with them.”
And it’s not just her sorority -- Ray has also been a member of the Drexel Salsa Club for several years, which she notes has been an amusing way to learn how to socialize through exercising, as well as a great way to be involved in a community of people who come from all different majors.
“They are pretty equally matched for me in terms of what’s been most rewarding. I think I’ve made lifelong friends in both organizations.” Ray explains.
As for her professional experiences, Ray is particularly passionate about previous academic projects and co-op programs.
“My third co-op was my favorite. I worked for Vineland Municipal Electric Utilities as a power plant operations co-op, so I got to climb around in turbine engines and learn how they work. There’s something about being in a field-site role that’s really exciting for me, because I’m definitely not a desk job kind of person.”
Ray also held positions with Eaton Aerospace in a manufacturing engineering position, as well as a co-op with Globus Medical in product development engineering. Ray combined her interests in engineering with her love of photography to create a series featuring women in engineering at Drexel. She views this was one of the most meaningful experiences in her academic career, for it gave her the ability to showcase a variety of different personalities in the college.
“I find that engineering students are actually some of the most diverse people. I came to college thinking we’d only be involved with things like STEM and math, but I find that a lot of people actually have creative hobbies.”
While Ray believes being adept in math and science skills certainly helps encourage choosing this focus of study, it always goes a lot deeper than that. For Ray, it was her dad who made her interested in the major.
“My parents are both Navy nurse retirees right now. My dad always encouraged me to help him build and fix cars, and to work in the yard. He even built his own aircraft. That’s how I got involved with the more hands-on, building side of engineering,” Ray says. “I’m good at math and science of course, but then again I also have these other experiences that make me feel more comfortable working with my hands and tools.”