Ana Aritonovska, E’16, dis­cov­ered that civil engi­neering was the career for her during a 2014 co-​​op at Granite Con­struc­tion. Her job involved devel­oping a lift plan to install a 30,000-pound drainage struc­ture at the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

I was just watching it go into the ground and my heart was racing,” Aritonovska said. “Watching some­thing that I spent four months working on and having it go into the ground without a problem was the best moment.”

For Aritonovska, as well as fellow seniors Emily Zeisler and Taylor Kalom­eris, pur­suing an engi­neering degree was not some­thing they fully con­sid­ered until they arrived at Northeastern.

Coming into col­lege I had no idea what I wanted to do,” explained Kalom­eris, E’16. “I knew I was good at math and sci­ence. But events like the ones the Society of Women Engi­neers hosted helped me figure it out.”

All three are now mem­bers of Northeastern’s Society of Women Engi­neers stu­dent group, which works to inform young women and others about the oppor­tu­ni­ties open to women through engineering.

Being at North­eastern with the co-​​op pro­gram solid­i­fied my pas­sion (for civil engi­neering)”
— Ana Aritonovska, E’16

To kick off the university’s cel­e­bra­tion of National Engi­neers Week, which will run from Feb. 22 to 27, SWE is hosting a Women in Engi­neering Day on Sat­urday called “Cool women, hot careers.” More than 100 female high school stu­dents and their par­ents will be on hand to hear from a stu­dent panel of SWE mem­bers and par­tic­i­pate in fun engi­neering activ­i­ties like mixing corn­starch and water and uti­lizing Northeastern’s earthquake-​​simulating shake table.

We also want to give them an oppor­tu­nity to ask ques­tions,” Zeisler explained. “We were recently in their shoes, so it is one of the more useful aspects of the day and I think they find it really valuable.”

Upon arriving at North­eastern them­selves a few years ago, Aritonovska, Zeisler, and Kalom­eris all soon learned of the var­ious dis­ci­plines avail­able within engineering—thanks in part to events like those orga­nized by SWE. Kalom­eris ulti­mately chose to study chem­ical engi­neering and plans to attend med­ical school; Zeisler, E’16, is majoring in indus­trial engi­neering and will work as a man­age­ment con­sulting ana­lyst in San Fran­cisco. Aritonovska has a job lined up in the con­struc­tion industry in New York.

Being at North­eastern with the co-​​op pro­gram solid­i­fied my pas­sion,” Aritonovska said.

An attrac­tive aspect of engi­neering, all three agreed, is the flex­i­bility the field offers and the dif­ferent oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to pursue. “The skills you learn, not just the tech­nical ones, but broader problem solving skills, are what I think com­pa­nies really look for,” Zeisler noted.