Penn State Engineering Ambassador Cayla Castells width=
Cayla Castells

Mechanical Engineering
Class of 2018

Hometown: Downingtown, PA

High School: Downingtown STEM Academy

Extracurricular Activities: Engineering Ambassadors, Career Envoys, GE Campus Ambassador, Phi Sigma Rho, Resident Assistant

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: GE Transportation (Summer 15) and GE Power (Summer 2016)

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? I wanted to come to Penn State because I wanted to be part of the biggest family out there. I knew that if I was a Penn Stater, I would never be alone and would be able to find people all over the world. I also wanted a big school so that I could make it feel small, joining as many organizations as possible.

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? My favorite memory as an engineering student was competing in the Leonhard Center Speaking Contest. I was selected to compete in the competition after my presentation in my required public speaking class and I was able to talk about a new engineering innovation and how it could change the world.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? My advice is to be open-minded and become involved. Being a first-year engineering student can be a little overwhelming at times, but the more you open yourself up and allow yourself to try new things that you might not have ever thought of doing will allow you to grow and learn more about yourself than you could have ever imagined. Your first year is meant for exploration and I encourage all first year students to take advantage of the opportunities we have at Penn State to get involved in the dozens of engineering societies and clubs offered. Making those connections will pay off and you will have a lot of fun doing it!

What do you plan to do after graduation? After graduation I want to do a rotational program in Operations Management, allowing me to use my technical degree but also experience manufacturing and different factory locations.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? My best experience outside of engineering at Penn State would have to be being a Resident Assistant. I am a freshman RA in East Halls and absolutely love my job. It is tremendously rewarding to watch first year students join clubs, excel in school, and make memories that will last a lifetime. While it isn't always easy, I love spending time with my kids and it is a much needed distraction from the stress of school.