Meet a Mechanical Engineering Major


Clara Alcaraz ’13

Extracurricular activities: 

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Alpha Upsilon Pi Sorority 

Why did you choose your major? 

I chose to do mechanical engineering because I liked engineering, but I didn't enjoy the other majors as much as I enjoyed mechanical engineering. Also, through this major, I was able to study abroad for two summers in Lyon, France and took engineering classes that were taught by a Manhattan College professor.

What has been your favorite class? 

My favorite classes definitely were all the higher level courses I took as a senior which applied all the theory I had learned over the years. Finding out all the ins and outs of the systems that I learned about and being able to apply bigger concepts to them was a lot of fun!

Have you done any internships?

I've held three internships: Magnetic Analysis Corporation (Mechanical Engineering Intern), Ryan Consulting Engineers (Mechanical Engineering Intern) and Turner Construction Company (MEPs Engineering Intern).  I am currently doing bio-mechanical research on the development of the heart of the zebra fish, which is mainly due to the change of the velocity of the blood and I will be monitoring it to study an aneurysm that can occur near the heart.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am not exactly sure yet what kind of profession I want to go into, however, I do have two specialties that I chose for my Master's degree which are bio-mechanical engineering and energy.  

What are the faculty like?

The professors in my department are very enthusiastic about mechanical engineering which is great to see because they truly love their profession.  

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

My favorite thing about my major is how mechanical engineering puts different aspects of everyday life into perspective. Things like a refrigerator are taken for granted, and now I know how they work. 

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

I really can't say that there is something that I find the "most" difficult in mechanical engineering. I truly enjoy my major and nothing is really too difficult when you enjoy it and want to learn more about it.

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

My advice to new students is to do research on the different majors.  Find out what comes after college, like what kind of jobs those engineers hold and what they do day to day to see if that is in fact what you want to do.