Penn State Engineering Ambassador Leah Eckman width=
Leah Eckman

Computer Science
Class of 2019

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

High School: Fox Chapel Area High School

Extracurricular Activities: Fitness Instructor (currently in training), Tech Tutor Supervisor, THON Public Relations Committee, Association for Women in Computing

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? Penn State had the best combination of everything I was looking for in a university. It has an outstanding engineering program, even better career opportunities, it's a big school with a great football culture, it's not too far from my home, and it was the right price. Penn State is also in my blood - I'm the 11th member of my mom's side of the family to come here - so I'd been exposed to it for my entire life.

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? My best memory as an engineering student was completing my semester long project for the class Computer Science 122. I had worked so intensely and so hard on that project for an entire semester that having it completely done and working at the end of it was so rewarding.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? I would tell a first year engineer that you will be okay. It's easy to get overwhelmed in engineering and feel like you won't make it through your whole four years. But you will be able to, and it's important to remember that.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I will hopefully have a full time job in industry upon my graduation from Penn State.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? My best experience outside of engineering has to be becoming a fitness instructor. I am only in training to be one, but so far, it has been more rewarding than I could've ever imagined. I've gained so many new skills and become a different person just from going through the training process.