Behind the career: Electrical Engineering

Being an electrical engineer - Jessica

Jessica

  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Grad year: 2015
  • Program: Electrical Engineering
  • Campus: Vancouver

Electrical Engineer at Microsoft 

Whether you're considering switching faculties or just experiencing imposter syndrome in your field, Jessica’s journey from being a business student to graduating with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and working full-time at Microsoft is a reminder to all that it is never too late to follow your passions. 

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do in high school — I actually didn’t even know what engineering was!” Jessica reveals. 

After following the influence of her friends, Jessica finished high school taking only commerce-related electives and going into business her first year of university. It was not until a year into her degree that she realized that business was not for her. “I had friends that were in engineering and I was learning more about it through talking to them. After that I was like: 'wow, engineering is pretty cool, you get to design stuff and be creative,' and that is what really drew me to it.”  

After that, Jessica worked hard to switch faculties from Sauder Business School to UBC Applied Science without even having any Science 12 credits; she started to take high school science courses on top of her course load in business. Finally, after two years at business school, Jessica's determination paid off and she transferred into the first year engineering stream. Through the first-year courses, Jessica quickly grew an interest in circuits and programming, and found electrical engineering to be the perfect hands-on program to apply her studies in real-life applications. Looking back at her younger self who felt lost and confused, Jessica would tell her to “not be afraid of change. You do not want to waste time on something you are not interested in, but it is also totally fine to not know what you want to do.” 

Since then, Jessica has graduated from UBC with bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering as well as a minor in Commerce, working as a Hardware Engineer for 4 years in sunny California before moving to Seattle to take on a position at Microsoft. At Microsoft, Jessica works on circuit board design, playing a key role in the production of Surface products. “Being able to say: I made this product, and it is helping people in this way, that is the thing that excites me the most about being an engineer.” 

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