Women in Engineering and Technology
WE@BYU Mentorship Spotlight
Manufacturing engineering technology student, Makenna Foulkrod, has always wanted to work with machines like her dad. But unlike her dad, who has enjoyed a successful career in aerospace technology, she dreams of becoming a NASCAR driver. This past year Foulkrod participated in the WE@BYU Mentorship program, which gives freshmen and sophomore women the chance to gain engineering experience working in their field of study.
Foulkrod loves working with her hands and building things, so choosing to be a manufacturing engineering technology major was a natural choice to fulfill her dream of becoming a NASCAR driver or crew member.
“My dad's an engineer and we were two peas in a pod, so I just wanted to do everything that he did which is what first pushed me to be an engineer,” said Foulkrod. “Then I realized that I am a hands-on person and I like building things and actually being with the product.”
Foulkrod was given the opportunity to work with graduate students and professors in the CMR lab where she helped build prototypes, worked in the origami lab and used tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.
“I spent a lot of time making prototypes and learning my way around the lab,” said Foulkrod. “I was introduced to a variety of computer programs and machines that I wouldn't have a knowledge of had I not had the privilege of this mentorship.”
Foulkrod’s experience evolved over time as she learned more. At first, she only built prototypes, but she was able to expand into other areas like research collection and evaluation.
“Going into the mentorship, I had zero experience working with real engineering problems, but this last year gave me the experience to help me learn more about what field of engineering I want to go into,” said Foulkrod. “I had been considering changing my major, but by having this mentorship opportunity, I realized I would miss the environment in the CMR lab and the type of people I was lucky enough to work with. I realized that I have a passion for engineering and I want to pursue a career in this field because it's people like them with whom I want to surround myself.”
Foulkrod is now more certain of the career path she wants to pursue because of her experiences working in the lab, so don’t be surprised when she is cruising around at the Daytona 500 in a few years.
WHAT IS WE@BYU?
Having the right resources can ensure your success in a technical discipline. WE@BYU: Women in Engineering and Technology is an organization that supports you both as a student and in the future. WE@BYU hosts activities, connects you to resources, and provides you with the tools you need to excel.
Who are we? We are just like you—women striving to use our talents to reach out and improve the world. Continue reading to meet a few women who demonstrate what WE can do to innovate, lead, connect, serve, and inspire.
Julie Crockett and Terri Bateman (WE@BYU Program Coordinators)
If you would like to nominate a WE@BYU student, alumni, or faculty member to be spolighted here, please click the link below!