Prevailer Mba is a senior at Prairie View A&M University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Her post-graduate plans include a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering. She is active in many student societies and organizations, including the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers.
Why did you get into STEM?
Really, I have always been into STEM from a young age. I always wanted to be an engineer, so this set me up for the STEM world right from the beginning. I was always interested in machines and how they worked, particularly airplanes. I eventually decided to study mechanical engineering in order to learn about much more machines than just the airplane. This is why I got into STEM – particularly, engineering.
What do you consider your greatest achievements?
My greatest achievement so far has been starting my campus chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). Starting this organization is one of the most courageous things I’ve done. Being able to provide people with opportunities to advance in the aerospace industry has been a rewarding experience for me. The excitement of students to join the organization makes me happy. I hope to build leaders in this organization and help people get ahead in their careers.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?
I’m still an upcoming Professional, and as such, I haven’t really faced any challenges as a woman in STEM. I do expect some challenges as I move up in my career, but I also hope to have a community of people that will help me navigate those challenges.
What is your advice to budding women in STEM?
My advice to budding women in STEM is: build a network. Your relationship currency is very important in the workplace. You can’t get ahead by working hard alone. You have to combine both hard work and relationship building. Connect with the right people, and you will always get ahead.