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Balraj Singh Basra

Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Why UC Merced?

The reason I chose UC Merced was the opportunities that were provided and the student population. As a first-generation student, I felt I could identify with the UC Merced student population with similar backgrounds and experiences. Since UC Merced is a fast-growing campus, I saw it as a chance to take advantage of the growing programs and research opportunities that were constantly provided to undergraduate students and help the campus grow itself.

Why Your Major?

Throughout my time in high school, I never enjoyed subjects such as History, English, and Writing. I was more intrigued by the STEM field subjects such as Math and Physics. I was also in the TRIO program in high school called: Upward Bound Math & Science. This program helped significantly grow my interest in the engineering field.

Inspiration and Mentors

Throughout my time at UC Merced, I had many people who kept me motivated as an undergraduate student. My biggest supporters were my family who have always been there for me and made sure they had my back no matter what. I also had supportive friends and brothers that I made along the way who always encouraged me to take on new opportunities and exceed the limits. I would also like to thank my professors and faculty as without them, I would not be where I am today.

Memorable Academic Experience

A memorable academic experience would be the semester of Fall 2021 when I took Thermodynamics. I was already intimidated by the class since it was my first engineering upper-division course and it was the first semester back in person after the pandemic year.

I initially struggled with the class grasping concepts and solving problem sets. As the semester went by, I had to dedicate extra time to this class by
reading, attending office hours, and studying. But with my hard work, it was slowly paying off. This class was also what formed a supportive friend group that I had in the following years. After completing the course, I was able to receive an offer for a research lab assistant position working for Dr. Palko.

What's Next?

After I graduate, I plan to enter the job industry as an entry-level Mechanical Engineer. My short-term goal is to work as a Manufacturing Engineer in the automotive industry and pass the FE exams as soon as possible. While I am still indecisive about obtaining a PE license, I do plan on returning back to school to pursue a higher education.

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