My name is Sara Gussett, and I am a Mechanical Engineering major, minoring in Materials Science and Mathematics. This will be my second year at the University of Central Florida. I attended ninth through eleventh grade in the Cayman Islands, and then graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High in 2016. My favorite class so far at UCF is Calculus II with Professor Dorin Dutkay. Although it is said to be one of the hardest courses at UCF, I think that with strict self-discipline and a good study habit, it is definitely possible to get an A. Professor Dutkay was very helpful and made the class interactive and totally doable. A lot of the material from trigonometry and algebra came up throughout the course, but he did an awesome job at reviewing past material and connecting it to the calculus. As a STEM student, I would highly suggest getting involved with campus organizations and research as a freshman. During my freshman year, I worked with other women to create a social sorority called Alpha Sigma Kappa- Women in Technical Studies. I also applied for and was awarded with the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at UCF. I highly suggest exploring different fields of study and following your passions and goals, starting with your freshman year. Although I did not enter UCF as an Excel student, I decided to become a Compass mentor because I think that it is important for students to explore different STEM disciplines so that they can have the opportunity to make the best decisions for themselves regarding their future careers. This program is a great way to make a close group of friends with majors similar to yours and to have resources such as tutoring and smaller class sizes. In my free time, I love to play the piano, paint, watch super-hero shows on Netflix, and spend time with my family.

Word of advice: even when others tell you that it’s too early to apply for an internship or to apply for research, try, because you will probably succeed. It’s never too early to start building your resume!