Stephany Marchany (Class of ’17), Rice University, Graduating Spring 2021
Major: Civil Engineering
Career Goals: I'd really like to work at a civil engineering firm in their transportation department or with a construction company doing project management. I'm currently working on taking the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which if passed allows you to be an Engineer-in-Training, and then in four years I will take the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam to become a Professional Engineer.
What has been the biggest surprise about the college experience? Just how many amazing communities I'd find at Rice's campus. I got really involved in HACER (the Hispanic Student Association), SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers), College Government, and many more things throughout my four years. I wouldn't say college will be the best four years of your life but they will definitely be the most transformative. I've learned a lot about myself and grew substantially as a person. You don't expect to come out of college a very different person, but it can happen and it's not a bad thing!
Most challenging coursework in college: Definitely the introduction science courses were the hardest for me. I'm not going to lie, I did pretty bad (C and below) in both semesters of my Physics and General Chemistry courses freshman year. Coming to a private university that's considered one of the best in the nation, there was a big learning curve I had to face, and I struggled a lot even in classes where I had enjoyed the subject in high school. They weren't necessarily weed out classes, but they were large classes with difficult concepts. I was also at 18 credit hours and was still doing a lot of adjusting to college life and having to make and follow my own schedule. I'd recommend going easy on yourself your first one or two semesters to figure out how you work and what your flow is going to look like throughout the day. For example, do you like to get your homework done early in the morning or at night? Do you need to work out to feel good throughout the day? Do you need someone to do work with you and hold you accountable? Lots of questions you need to ask yourself that will help you during your time in college.
Accomplishment most proud of:
-Forming the Brown Diversity Council: I think my biggest accomplishment was helping form the Diversity Council at my residential college, Brown, in 2019. The purpose of the Diversity Council is to make Brown a more diverse and inclusive space, as well as celebrate and bring awareness to different communities.
-Paul and Ruth Pfeiffer Award: Given to seniors who best exhibit the personal qualities and engage in the kind of activities which make Brown (the residential college I am at) a vital and meaningful community.
-2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award: I was Co-President of the Hispanic Student Association at Rice this year and this award is given to an organization that has demonstrated excellence in its commitment to advocating on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion through efforts including, but not limited to, programming, collaboration, membership development, and community building and engagement.
Can you provide any advice to our current Knights?
For your first year of college:
- Ask for all the help you can! Go to office hours, make study groups, make appointments with professors, get tutoring, etc. Don't disadvantage yourself or let amazing resources go to waste just because you are stubborn or scared.
-Know it's okay to fail or not do as great as you intended to. College is a big transition, especially if you're a first-generation student. Get help and don't give up.
For the other three (or more) years:
-Figure out what works for you and get organized. Use to-do lists, Google calendar, get a planner, or anything that will help you remember all of your activities, classes, and assignments because you will inevitably forget something very important.
-Get involved in clubs and organizations, you'll find many friends and people who have the same interests as you.
-Spend time with your friends. Yes, academics are important and the reason most of us go to college but the bonds and memories you make are incredible and worth putting time into. On that same note take a lot of pictures, you'll love having them years later!
I paid for college with…: Rice has great need-based financial aid packages for students with families making $65k or below that covers full tuition, fees, and room & board. This is my situation and I've not really had to pay from anything outside of flights, textbooks sometimes (though you can find free versions online), and the occasional excursion to a restaurant!
Fondest memory from high school: Getting to know my teachers was always a great part of my Jose experience. Please be nice to them, they really want what's best for you and they can make great friends later on in life @ Mr. Milian 🙂
High School Graduation Date: May 31, 2017