Penn State Engineering Ambassador Annemarie Phandinh width=
Annemarie Phandinh

Mechanical Engineering
Class of 2018

Hometown: Exton, PA

High School: Bishop Shanahan High School

Extracurricular Activities: Phi Sigma Rho Sorority, Rules and Regulations THON Committee (2015-16), Special Events THON Committee (2016-17), Green Program Ambassador, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Volunteer

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Philadelphia Energy Solutions, LLC. Internship (Summer 2015), Air Liquide Internship (Summer 2016), The Boeing Company Internship (Summer 2017)

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? I visited a lot of schools and applied to about 13. I wasn't really sure what direction I was headed in, other than not wanting to attend college in my hometown. As I started to visit more and more schools, I found that I wanted to find a place that felt like a home away from home. More specifically, I wanted to find a community that was united and full of warmth. When I stepped onto Penn States campus, I felt exactly that. Even when I leave campus, I can always find a Penn State alumni and feel the same way I do on campus: welcomed. It is a unique experience to attend a college that can give you a home wherever you go.

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? In general, some of my best memories are succeeding in a class I was initially struggling with. I just feel I sense of accomplishment. One experience in particular was through a class project. We were tasked with researching, building, and presenting a solution to airplane tire damage from landing friction. As a sophomore, not yet in Mechanical Engineering major classes, I was out of my comfort zone. My group and I reached out to many professors and pilots and were able to 3D print a prototype. We ended up winning first place in the final presentations against nine other projects when we presented to a panel of judges. It was unexpected but incredibly rewarding. It taught me that the best projects you can have are the ones that make you curious.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? Ask more questions than you think is necessary. This can be applied in and out of the classroom. Looking back, I never thought I had that many questions or if I did, they were not worthwhile. In my three years at Penn State, I have realized that the most information I have gained and the best experiences I got came from asking way too many questions. While many use the cliche, "there's no such thing as a dumb question." I challenge that with my own, "you'll never understand if you don't ask." Without questions, I would have never been apart of some wonderful organizations like THON, or traveling to Africa this summer through my minor. Asking questions can only help, and doing it sooner rather than later is the best way to start your college career.

What do you plan to do after graduation? I hope to get a job in the Aerospace industry working in product design or project management. Location-wise, I want to move to Seattle, Washington or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I would like to continue to be involved with advocating for renewable energy and implementing sustainable practices. On top of that, I just want to travel and write articles on sustainable development in industry and in developing nations.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? My best experience has been being involved with thon. Thon is an unbelievable experience you can't even fathom until you actually are there yourself.