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Hometown: Memphis | Class: Senior | Major: Mechanical Engineering | Paid Experience: Co-op at Southern Company | Internship at Northrop Grunman

Pro-tip for Prospective Students:
“Even if you don’t get straight A’s its not the end of the world, as long as you know you tried your hardest. You can really beat yourself down trying to be perfect, engineering is not made to be easy. It’s about learning from your mistakes and keep moving forward.”

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Favorite thing about the college?

Engineering Diversity Programs has provided a lot of support for me. I’ve done a lot of their events and gone to several conferences. With them, it’s the little things that matter. Like in the resource room sometimes they’ll have cereal. If I’m feeling down or didn’t get to eat lunch it’s nice to have somewhere where I can find food, it makes a big difference for me.”

Iris Melara-Guzman working with classmates in Min Kao Lab

How did you find community at UT?

“Over the Summer, before classes started, I went to Leadership Ignite and there happened to be several engineering students there. We started a group chat called ‘EF Fam’ with about 5 or 6 of us. It’s grown to about 20 students—it would be 10 at night and we’d be in the library studying. That one little connection made a world of difference, I met my best friend there. I still talk to people from the group. Knowing that you have someone to reach out to and help work through problems, it helped make freshman year possible and I don’t think I would have survived without them.”

Iris working with other students