Penn State Engineering Ambassador Shelby Harris width=
Shelby Harris

Chemical Engineering
Class of 2017

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

High School: Moon Area High School

Extracurricular Activities: Engineering Ambassadors! :) AIChE, Student Support Services Program

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Chemical Engineering Internship with Axiall Corporation (now Westlake Chemical), Research assistant for Fantle lab (Department of Geoscience)

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? I come from one of those Penn State families. Aunts, uncles, mom, dad, siblings: we are all Penn Staters. I didn't want to go to Penn State, just because its "what we do," but I agreed to go on a tour anyway. The moment I got to campus, I fell in love. I never wanted to leave (and I still don't).

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? The summer after my junior year, I got to move to Lake Charles, LA to work as an intern for Axiall Corporation. My position was within operations for a caustic soda production unit. I went to work every day in steel toes and a hard hat, and I could not have loved it any more. I had incredible mentors and teachers that showed me just how much I could love and be challenged by chemical engineering. It was this summer that I fell in love with engineering.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? Don't leave home without your laptop charger. Keep an umbrella in your backpack. Dress in layers. Work out in the morning. Get involved. Try new things. Try too many new things. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Take study breaks. Take care of yourself. Your GPA does not define you, or your future success. Above all else, engineering is a team sport. Make friends with people you make you better academically, professionally and personally. And love every minute of the next four, amazing years.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I will be joining the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Trainee Program in Jacksonville, FL this June. After the conclusion of the 3-month training program, I will be transitioning to the Group Manager position at one of the 13 breweries nationwide.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? Have you ever heard someone call their group of friends "family?" Before the Engineering Ambassadors, I didn't really understand what they meant. And now, my fellow EAs have become my family. We laugh together, cry together, work together, and grow together. From training with the FDNY and doing theatre improv, to spending the afternoon at Cafe and picking EA superlatives, these people are my people. My best Penn State experience has been getting to know and love all of you. Thank you, EA.