Lori Brown

Facilities Integrity Engineer at ExxonMobil
Oil and Energy
Houston, Texas
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Lori's career stories

When did you get your first Big Break? How did you get it? How did it go?

My first Big Break was definitely as a senior in High School, when I was comparing all of my college acceptance and financial aid offers. As I remember I had applied to a variety of 7-8 schools, from my basic “back-up” state school to my presitigious “stretch” school MIT [where I didn’t get accepted :-) ]. Since I knew I wanted to study something in a STEM field and planned on starting in engineering, I had several Institute of Tech schools on the list as well as several schools that were more generalized, but had strong engineering programs. In any case, my Big Break for school selection was that I had 3 schools that both accepted my application and offered fairly competitive financial aid packages (combined merit-based and need-based). I was able to sit down and really weigh the pros and cons of each of the schools, and make an acceptance decision based on what was right for me - which to my surprise ended up being the state school only an hour away from where I had gone to high school! Overall I had a great five year stint at OSU and was able to explore some additional classes and extracurricular activities that I may not have been able to enjoy if I had gone further away or to a more expensive private school. This morning I stumbled across this featured article on Vanguard and had to absolutely agree with the recommendations. It may seem daunting to apply to multiple different schools, but it definitely worked in my favor and set me up for a very successful engineering degree. https://investornews.vanguard/6-steps-to-choosing-the-right-college/

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Lori's Questions and Answers

Hi Kaven! I will echo the tip from Amit above - typically if you can find a job on-campus or specifically geared towards students, then you may be a bit more flexibility in your hours and more leniency with doing homework at work, etc. You can even check with your financial aid office as you...

Active May 25 at 10:46 PM
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Hi Allison! You do need to take a least a couple of physics classes to get most engineering degrees, though the level of Physics requirements will be very dependent on which specific degree you major in. For my B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Oklahoma State, we were only required to have...

Active May 21 at 02:35 AM
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Hi Chloe! The split is definitely not to parity yet, but as Sherry mentioned it is improving. It really depends on field to field and specific focuses. For my Chemical Engineering classes, we ended up graduating at about 25-30% women (11 out of around 40 classmates). I had friends from the...

Active May 05 at 11:55 PM
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Hi Giselle! It may depend on the specific scholarship (for example if you were applying to one that was specific to volunteer work), but in general I would expect that scholarships take into account if you have financial need where you need to have a paying job instead of sports / volunteer...

Active May 04 at 11:01 PM
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Great question MQ! There are definitely some scholarships that could help with your expenses - it really depends on the individual scholarship and how it is set up. Some are very explicit is what is covered (e.g. only tuition) and others may provide just general money (e.g. $1000 per year)....

Active Apr 30 at 01:41 AM
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Agreed with Tasha - there is currently huge demand in the marketplace for software development and all other types of computer science / engineering support (like artifical intelligence, robotics, etc). Really any type of engineering would give you the opportunity to have an impact on the...

Active Apr 30 at 01:36 AM
Posted by Lori Brown’s Avatar Lori B.

I agree with Peter - your best preparation in high school for any engineering degree is to load up your schedule with science and math. Ideally you should sign up for the highest levels available to you, particularly physics, chemistry, and calculus. If your school offers a basic engineering...

Active Apr 30 at 01:30 AM
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Hi Ryan! I would say that it would be beneficial for you to understand more what the root cause is of you not performing on the tests - from description of the issue, it sounds like you may just struggle / stress out about the timed nature of test-taking itself and not necessarily the...

Active Apr 30 at 01:23 AM
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Hi Sierra! There are definitely some things you can proactively do to help soften the culture shock of moving out of town you have always lived in and starting somewhere new. One thing that can help if it is possible for you is to take trips before you move to the college and explore campus....

#self-care #culture-shock

Active Apr 20 at 10:02 PM
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Hi DaQuana! I say go for it also! The beauty of a mechanical engineering major is that it can open the door to lots of different industries without pigeonholing you into only one specific discipline. If you want to help your chances at getting a job role in Aerospace when you graduate, I...


Active Apr 20 at 09:47 PM
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Hi Kathy! Any engineering could be a great option and gives you a lot of flexibility in career choice. If you're not 100% decided on which branch, your best bet may be a school that is highly ranked in various engineering programs instead of focusing just on the best for your current intended...

#school-selection #chemical-engineering

Active Apr 20 at 09:06 PM
Posted by Lori Brown’s Avatar Lori B.

Hi Emilee!Great question to be asking so early! I agree with everything that Victoria mentioned, especially volunteering and professional societies (like American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, any specific to nanotechnology if you can find them). A couple of...

Active Mar 18 at 07:50 PM
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Hi Kendralyn! From a quick look around, it appears that most schools would only offer a Bachelors in Physics. Some give the option to have an Area of Focus on Astrophysics. https://affordableschools.net/15-of-the-most-affordable-bachelors-degrees-in-astrophysics-aerospace-and-astronomy/...

#college-selection #stemcareers

Active Dec 07 '17 at 06:10 PM
Posted by Lori Brown’s Avatar Lori B.

One other great resource you can use to get started are the annual rankings of schools put out by US News - https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/engineering. Since I was interested in chemical engineering, I found this a great resource whenever I was in the process of searching for a...


Active Dec 06 '17 at 12:24 AM
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I will echo Nicholas’s comment above! Sometimes it can help to view an annoying dormmate like a practice run for the workplace. Someday you’ll end up with a coworker that drives you a bit crazy, but you’ll still need to work with them. For a dormmate, your best bet is to work on open...

#dorm #conflict-resolution

Active Dec 03 '17 at 12:24 AM
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