"This summer, I’ll be interning for TerraCycle. Their whole idea is to recycle the unrecyclable. "
Amanda Chin is a Rutgers School of Engineering junior who hails from Monroe Township, NJ. Here she explains why Materials Science and Engineering is the perfect major and where she hopes it might lead her in the future.
My sister went here, but I didn’t want to go here just because of my sister. There are so many opportunities at Rutgers -- I could really imagine myself here.
What got you into engineering?
In high school, I was always analyzing how things worked, which brought me into the world of engineering.
What is your major? Materials Science and Engineering. I’m also getting a Packaging Engineering Certificate.
Why Materials Science?
I believe it’s a connecting bridge between the creative and the analytical sides of my brain, so it’s perfect for me. With nearly every discipline, you need Materials Science to get the job done. I’m excited to learn and want to learn as much as I can about it.
What is your focus in Materials Science?
My true passion is with glass, which fulfills my technical side. But I’m also a creative person and glass is an amazing material and a creative medium with a huge variety of applications.
Do you have a favorite course?
So far, it’s crystal chemistry. It’s an introductory materials science course. We studied the structure of different crystals and made models, so we could physically see and feel and understand the crystals. You can tell the people who are taking this class because you see them walking around campus with their models. I was proud to carry my model around. It was like a huge trophy.
Do you have a favorite professor?
Professor Laura Fabris, who taught the intro materials science and engineering course. It was the very first class about my major and I learned so much. Her class was the hook that got me into my major. But, I have to say, all of the MSE faculty at Rutgers are absolutely extraordinary, going above and beyond and looking out for each students' best interest. There are a ton of research opportunities which makes the curriculum that much more exciting because you get to apply what you learn in the classroom and experience it in the laboratory. I have met the most outgoing and friendly professors in this amazing department!
What about extracurricular activities?
I’m a sister in Phi Sigma Rho, the women’s engineering sorority and I’m a member of the Society of Women Engineers. I am in DELLC – a member of the first graduating class of the Douglass-Engineering Living Learning Community. All of these are communities that give me the support I need as a woman in engineering.
Last summer I worked at Rutgers in a research position at the Corning Glass Science and Engineering Laboratory. There, I melted and poured molten glass. I helped to develop an interactive glass color board used in the glass engineering class offered in the fall.
This summer, I’ll have the privilege of interning for TerraCycle Inc. Their whole idea is to recycle the unrecyclable.
What are you most passionate about? Last summer, I got into glass. I took a weeklong glass-blowing course. It was very dramatic, extremely hot and exciting. I made 40 pieces – tumblers, bowls, cups, paperweights. I was in the hot shop 14 hours a day.
I’m also very passionate about my major and so lucky to have the privilege to be a Rutgers student. I have a lot of Rutgers pride!
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
My goal is to work with Corning.
Has Rutgers has prepared you for this next step?
Rutgers is 100% doing their job academically. The knowledge is engraved in my mind – I’m not learning on a superficial level.
How do you hope to give back to future SoE students?
I’ll always be a Rutgers Scarlet Knight. After I graduate next year and find an engineering career that I’m passionate about, I’ll be able to return to Rutgers and share how I’ve applied the knowledge I’ve gained here to industry.
I also plan on being an active member in the Rutgers Alumni Association and hope to participate in Engineering Week events to stay connected with the engineering community here.
Is there anything you wish you’d known as a freshman?
I’d tell my freshman year self that it gets better. Freshman year is difficult, but as the curriculum continues you enter classes you will be excited to go to. Also – I’d tell myself to get to know the dining hall staff. They are the people who feed you every day!
What do you do for fun?
Glassblowing is a huge hobby for me. But otherwise, I like to catch up on my sleep in my free time. And I love hanging out with my friends. I enjoy hanging out on the engineering lawn, especially in the nice spring weather. I also like movies.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I’m definitely a fan of rom coms. Bridesmaids is my favorite movie.