Q&A with Engineering Alumna, Maya Wong '18

Meet Maya Wong '18, graduate of Saint Mary's College and Washington University's 3+2 Dual Degree Engineering Program. She worked on the new Mechanical Engineering Building for WashU after graduating. Wong also engineered and managed a $2.5 million school building renovation, which was finished in less than 11 weeks, and included gutting and rebuilding the interior of the school. She also traveled to Rwanda to teach English after graduating, and in her spare time she enjoys exploring St. Louis parks with her beautiful dog, Mo.

What do you currently do for work? 

While I was in school, I interned for McCarthy Building Companies, and after graduation, I continued to work there full time for six months. I then moved to GRP|WEGMAN, a contracting company located in St. Louis, Missouri, where I work as a mechanical engineer in performance contracting. I focus primarily on implementing energy efficient solutions in K-12 schools.

What interested you in choosing the 3+2 Engineering Program?

I chose Saint Mary’s because I liked the close knit community of the school and their supportive resources for first generation college students. I was unsure of a major originally, and it took me a semester to decide what I wanted to do. I knew that I liked mathematics and physics, so I decided that I wanted to do engineering but I still wanted a liberal arts education, so I decided to enroll in the 3+2 Engineering Program.

Why did you choose this program versus another engineering program?

I visited Saint Mary’s on a high school trip and decided this was the only place that I wanted to go, so I applied. I did not look at any other engineering programs since I applied based on the school. I just found the 3+2 Engineering Program was the right path to take.

Washington University in St. Louis
Photo Credit: Joe Angeles / Washington University 

What have you learned from the program? How has it served you in your work or internship?

I found that the engineering program at WashU didn’t offer classes like Seminar, a class that I found myself valuing after I graduated because it teaches you to communicate in ways that other classes don’t. At work, I found myself appreciating the liberal arts background Saint Mary’s gave me when presenting project ideas or communicating with groups, and I found that many other engineers struggle with effective communication skills. Luckily, Saint Mary’s taught me things that help me get ideas across effectively to my peers and managers. I’d like to especially mention Professor Rosario. Saint Mary’s has many good professors, but she was my favorite. She was in the Physics Department and was very approachable, easy to get along with, and helpful.

Do you have any other opportunities lined up that you’re excited about?

Not at the moment, but I hope to come back to California someday because I miss the weather and my home state!


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