Wanqiu Chen

MBA-MS Civil Engineering Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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You can do it! Seriously!

What do you do?

I study construction management classes, such as construction planning, construction cost estimation as well as business classes such as finance and project management. I've served as the Funding Coordinator and Social Media Coordinator on the Graduate Society of Women Engineers(GradSWE) at U of I. Other leadership roles I hold include President of Rho Epsilon Real Estate Association, MBA Association, and Dean's Fellow.

Why did you choose this field?

My father is a Structural Engineer, and my mother is a college professor who specializes in soil mechanics. When I was a little girl, I always hear "concrete," "steel beams," "foundation" on our dinner table, and I always ask questions. They would explain these concepts patiently. I grew up thinking my parents tackle civil engineering problems together is the most romantic thing in the world. Civil engineering is our thing! Also, growing up in Beijing, China, I love cities. Shaping the city skyline is a dream of mine, and I happen to be good at physics.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

You can do business and engineering. You can be interdisciplinary. You can have multiple interests and talents, and that's what makes you unique!

Why do you love working in STEM?

I look forward to doing things in the most efficient way and get the projects going. I look forward to talking to all kinds of people and discover new possibilities every day. I love STEM because it gives me the ability to think in a logical, rigorous way and be one step closer to the truth. And STEM things make sense!

Best advice for next generation?

You can do it! Seriously!
STEM is the only field that can give you the power to do anything.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Clarity comes from action, not thought.” -Marie Forleo

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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