I met our next stranger as she was out with her fiancé, stranger #62 Tyler.
“I am a student, and we just moved up here a few months ago. We were walking around trying to get lunch.”
What advice would you give to your younger self? “Probably be more confident in myself. A lot of times I feel like I bring myself down for no reason.”
Has that always been the case? “Yeah, for a while… and then I moved to Charlotte and got out of a small town. I still struggle with confidence sometimes just being in engineering, the only female… you know?”
I’ve seen statistics where females just drop out at great rates… “Yeah, I feel like they’re not taken as seriously.”
Why do you think females drop out of STEM? “I just feel like there’s a little bit of fear just because it’s not a very woman-populated kind of job like science, math or anything like that. They’re just kind of like, oh, that’s not what I’m supposed to do. It’s just kind of like a mental thing. It’s like, that’s a men’s job.”
How were you able to fight that? “I’m very stubborn and, again, I’ve been working on my confidence. I want to do something that’s impactful. I don’t want to sit in an office and feel like what I’m doing is unimportant. I want to do something big.”
What are your goals? “I definitely want to be a civil engineer. I’m concentrating on energy design right now so… sustainability projects. I actually just had an interview… that’s why I’m dressed like this. So, anything with sustainability really… I’m pretty open to that.”
What is your biggest challenge right now? “Probably focusing on what’s important. I get really distracted easily… I want to go out to lunch, I want to hang out with my friends, but I really need to focus on schoolwork and do nothing else.”
What do you do in your free time? “We go hiking. We take our dogs out and walk around uptown a little bit.”
How would your friends describe you? “Probably as social. A little feisty. But genuinely a good person I would think… I hope so.”
Technical Notes: We found a nicely lit spot with a bright spot of sun reflecting off a faraway building. I used a reflector to further light up her face.