Name: Rebecca Radparvar
School: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
Rebecca, you’re currently studying Mechanical Engineering and Design, Innovation, & Society at RPI. How have you found that these two, seemingly very different, areas compliment one another?
Many people see a large divide between the arts and engineering/sciences, but when in reality the hybrid of the two is what makes people, and companies, so successful. It’s not enough to have the knowledge to make something work, which is what I gain from my Mechanical Engineering degree – you also have to have the expertise to make it work for people. The degree I’m currently pursuing allows me to design not only the mechanics of a system, but the experience one will have with it after. Those two components allow for a successful design that ultimately makes an impact.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is best exemplified by some of the last lines of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning…” We must always push ourselves to go further and work harder to reach our ultimate goals, whether we know what they are or not.
What has been your favorite memory or part about working for IBM?
My favorite part of working for IBM was definitely getting to know everyone on my team. I work out of IBM’s Design Lab in NYC, which is set up in a way that allows you to collaborate and get to know people, especially your team, very well, which is something I loved. I can honestly say I’m not sure my experience would have been as great if I hadn’t loved my team!
If you could interview anyone in your life, alive or deceased, who would it be?
If I could interview anyone, it’d most definitely be Jerry Uelsmann, an American photographer who specializes in photomontages and special effects done inside the darkroom. Ever since I began doing photography as a young teenager, I’ve loved his work. I can’t even put into words how exquisite of an experience it would be to see him in action.
This post first appeared on the People for A Smarter Planet page on Facebook.