#FemaleFriday

Ajin Fatima

Ajin graduated from Drexel University in 2015 with a B.S in Civil Engineering and Engineering Management. Currently, she is working at City of Philadelphia- Streets dept. - Bridge section as a design engineer.

Ajin was a part of ACE mentorship program when she was in high school, which made her interested in pursuing a career in civil engineering. When she was in college, she served as a mentor to give the same opportunities to high school students. She is excited to be a part of YMF board next year and get involved with the volunteering opportunities that YMF has to offer.

In her spare time, Ajin likes to travel, learn more about different cultures, hang out with her friends and family, and try out different restaurants.

How/when did you realize you wanted to be a civil engineer? / Why did you first study engineering?

Ever since I was young, my parents always pushed me to emphasize on math and science courses and I really enjoyed those subjects. From very early on, I knew that I wanted to apply those subjects in my career, however, I didn’t know what career path to take. It was in my junior year of high school when I joined an after school activity called ACE mentoring program. Through the program, I got to learn about different aspects of engineering, met professionals who inspired me in so many ways. I became more involved with the program and started to seek internship position to learn more about the field. I was able to find a position with the City of Philadelphia – Streets dept. - highway division, worked under Michelle Brisbon who is currently holding the Assistant Chief Highway Engineer position. She steered me towards majoring in civil engineering. She shared her stories of pursuing an engineering degree in college and working as a professional which was very inspiring for me.

What does empowerment mean to you?

Everyone has the ability to empower someone and be empowered by someone else. It means becoming more confident and strong at any aspects of life. I was empowered by many people throughout my life. At my very young age, I was empowered by ACE mentoring program and after graduating from college I decided to give back. Currently, I am serving as a mentor; teaching high school students about engineering, answering questions about courses in college and career after college and sharing my stories. I hope that mentees can be empowered by gaining knowledge, figuring out what they want to do in college through the program as well.

What advice would you give young female engineers entering the civil engineering workforce?

As a young engineer, I think networking is of utmost importance in the workforce. Networking brings new opportunities, knowledge, different ways of solving problems etc. As engineers, we collaborate on almost every project therefore, soft skills are very important as well. Also, having a mentor figure in the workforce is essential for young engineers.

What has been your favorite part of being a ASCE YMF Board Member?

There is so much that I love about ASCE YMF. Every board position serves its own purpose and makes a difference. One of my favorite parts of being a board member is our social events. Our social events give members an opportunity to network and bridge the gap between professionals and college students. As a social event chair, it’s very rewarding to see college students making the most of these networking events. Our social events are very well received and we work relentlessly every year to improve them anyway we can.