Isabel Kaspriskie ’19

Isabel Kaspriskie ’19

Chemical engineering is such a broad field that you can truly do anything with it. Whether you're more interested in problems in biology or mathematics or chemistry, whether you want to work in a lab or at a plant or in an office, chemical engineering is a way for you to be prepared for what you decide to do.

Isabel Kaspriskie '19
Chemical Engineering & Music, Computer Science Minor

How did you decide on Course X for your undergrad major?

I grew up in the town where Thomas Edison had his laboratories and I also share a birthday with Nikola Tesla, so it's always felt right to me that I wanted to invent and create new things. I have always liked to build and solve puzzles, and math and science were my favorite subjects. I knew I wanted to be an engineer and I liked chemistry in high school, so chemical engineering seemed natural. I also knew that Course X held a lot of options for post-graduation paths, so I didn't feel pigeonholed into a career from the get-go.

How would you describe your experience so far in Course X?

I met some of my best friends through the smaller class size of Course X, something I feel I would have missed in some of the larger departments at MIT. The professors take their time to get to know you in the department here. The coursework is challenging, but the kind of problem solving I've learned in ChemE has been applicable in all sorts of ways I wouldn't have expected going in. I've done externships and internships in a wide range of fields, and feeling confident that I can go into a problem and find some way to get a useful answer is a good feeling.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I most enjoy computational problems, and I've loved working on software projects in and out of classes. I recently worked at edX, the online education nonprofit started out of MIT, and I loved helping to make tools that help people across the globe! After graduation, I'm planning on working as a software engineer to get some industry experience before making decisions about whether I want to go to graduate school and what I'd want to focus on there.

How has your MIT ChemE experience helped you follow your goals/passions?

My favorite things about MIT ChemE are also the things that best helped me follow my goals. Being able to interact with faculty, getting to know my classmates, and becoming a confident problem solver are all amazing benefits. Growing into someone who's confident in problem solving means I am less afraid of diving into new things without any previous experience. For example, I wasn't afraid of following a passion for software engineering and doing technical interviews without ever taking a CS course. That kind of confidence has helped me find what really excites me and makes me feel like I'm making a positive difference in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Chemical engineering is such a broad field that you can truly do anything with it. Whether you're more interested in problems in biology or mathematics or chemistry, whether you want to work in a lab or at a plant or in an office, chemical engineering is a way for you to be prepared for what you decide to do.