Diego Phillip
Junior, Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Colleyville, Texas
"One of the most important things that I have learned so far throughout my collegiate career is that you do not need to come into college already aware of what you want to do. As a Purdue Engineer, there are so many opportunities that will await you after graduation, do not undermine your ability as an engineer and undervalue your worth within whatever field that you choose to pursue."

Campus Involvement:

  • MAES - Latinos in Science and Engineering (President)
  • National Society of Black Engineers (Member)
  • Purdue Mechanical Engineering Ambassador
  • Pi Tau Sigma: Mechanical Engineering Honor Society
  • Internships with GE Aviation

Were you involved with the Minority Program Summer Engineering Workshops? If yes, what was your role, and how did you benefit from them? 

Yes, I was a part of the Academic Boot Camp (ABC), which is a program before your first-year that is designed to help make the high school to college transition much easier. I was able to gain so many life long friends through this program and was also able to be a step ahead of my contemporaries due to my familiarity with the rigorous Purdue coursework. Not only did I gain personal and academic benefits from ABC, I was also exposed to some hands-on work in which we were tasked with deconstructing and reconstructing a go-kart to eventually race it at the end of the program. I gained invaluable skills participating the ABC and am so glad I was able to experience it!

Tell our audience about what you have gained from the Minority Engineering Program. How has MEP affected you as an engineering student? What do you get through MEP that you don't get from other programs on campus?

Through the Minority Engineering Program, I have gained a sense of belonging and comradery with the other students. Throughout my life as a double minority, I have found it extremely difficult to find a group to fit in with, but being a part of the Minority Engineering Program, I was able to find a wonderful group of friends that otherwise I may have never met at my time at Purdue. 

Reflecting on my time trying to choose a college to attend, MEP was one of the biggest reasons why I chose to come Purdue over other engineering universities. A program that is solely dedicated to the prosperity and retention of minority talent is a great initiative that other universities lack on this type of scale. MEP is a well-established and integrated part of the College of Engineering and Purdue as a whole. I have been so grateful to have MEP as a strong backbone to rely on through my collegiate career, helping me get through all the obstacles I have faced, both personally and professionally.

MEP stands out to me because it strives to bring together so many differing backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and perspectives all in pursuit of a common goals that is excellence in anything and everything that we do as a student. Within this goal, MEP supplies so many amazing opportunities, such as networking with alumni and industry representatives, social events to relax from the stress of college, and scholarships that award students for their hard work. 

What is one piece of advice that you would like to share with future engineers that you might not have known when you started your program of study? 

One of the most important things that I have learned so far throughout my collegiate career is that you do not need to come into college already aware of what you want to do. Although First-Year Engineering (FYE) is challenging, it is a great opportunity to explore the different engineering departments. Even after choosing a specific engineering major, there are a multitude of things that you can do within that major, don't narrow your ability to learn and grow as an individual and engineer. College is all about exploration, so continue to find new interests and flesh out what you are passionate about throughout your time at Purdue. As a Purdue Engineer, there are so many opportunities that will await you after graduation, do not undermine your ability as an engineer and undervalue your worth within whatever field that you choose to pursue. 

Anything else that you would like to share with us about your time at Purdue? 

My time at Purdue has been a true blessing, I have truly found a place that I can call home with colleagues, peers, and mentors that I will retain relationships with long after I graduate. Originally, I was timid to come all the way to Indiana from Texas, but with the support of my loving family, I was able to make the giant leap and I am so thankful that I did because the experiences that I have had here will be something that I will never forget. Being able to be part of such wonderful departments like MEP and the School of Mechanical Engineering have molded me into the person I am today, both personally and professionally. Boiler Up and Hammer Down!

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