Paul Zarate

Class of 2013
Mechanical engineering

Why did you choose Berkeley Engineering?

It is one of the best engineering schools in the nation. The Bay Area has great weather and a diverse group of people. It was very important for me to choose a university that strove for diversity and appreciated the different cultures of the student body.

What do you like most about Berkeley Engineering?

Paul ZaratePaul Zarate (Photo by Preston Davis)There are so many clubs to keep you occupied. I used to be part of Berkeley Engineers and Mentors, and I went out every week to do fun engineering activities with a group of elementary students. For two years I worked on the solar vehicle team, CalSol, and helped with the dashboard design.

What are you working on?

In my microprocessors class, I worked on turning a rotating toy missile launcher to be able to automatically track certain objects and fire at it. Outside the classroom, I served as the communications officer for the Engineering Student Council (ESC). Being a part of the ESC was great because I got to meet a lot of students outside my major I normally would not be able to meet. ESC holds Engineers Week every year; it’s our way of trying to unite the Berkeley Engineering community through socials, competitions and seminars.

What else do you do?

I started a club at Berkeley called Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (oSTEM). The club is dedicated to the professional development of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students in the STEM majors. I served as oSTEM’s first president. It was an exciting experience to start something new that benefits LGBT students within the engineering community.

What are your future plans?

I plan to work in industry. I have enjoyed my design and controls classes, so I hope to have a career involved with simulating dynamics problems or designing products in ProE or SolidWorks. Someday I would like to be part of the national oSTEM board in order to help educate people and create a safer community for LGBT people who work in STEM fields in industry or academia.

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