Alessandra Contreras

Class of 2026
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Hometown: Waldorf, Maryland
High School: North Point High School
What Made You Decide to Attend UMD?
I decided to attend UMD because I was accepted as a Clark Scholar. Through Clark Scholars, I would get to take classes that combine engineering, leadership, and business that would help to develop projects that address the NAE Grand Challenges. Due to this opportunity, how well-rounded the Clark School is, and the various clubs and opportunities UMD offers influenced my decision. 
Best Experience with a Class or Project
One of the best experiences I have had with a project was in ENES210. ENES210 is an entrepreneurial engineering class that goes through the process of if you made a startup company. We learned about the skills that are required from an engineering and business background. We got to simulate the process of finding experts, how we would go about funding, marketing, what product and industry we would go with, and more. The communication between my group and the various skills we all brought made this class and project really interesting.
Favorite Class In Major
ENMA180: Materials Science: The Field and the Future
Favorite Class Out of Major
ENES210: Entrepreneurial Opportunity Analysis and Decision-Making in 21st Century Technology Ventures
Student Organizations/Extracurricular Activities
Clark Scholars
Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers
Society of Women Engineers
Favorite On-Campus Event
I went to the Big Time Rush concert last spring which was really fun and exciting. I am excited to see what similar events are held this year. 
Favorite Research or Study Abroad Experiences
I have not participated in any research on campus yet, however, with the Clark Scholars Program, we are brainstorming new project ideas and researching those which have ranged from mold, living machines, and more which has been a really interesting process.
Cool Engineering Experience
As part of the Clark Scholars Program, the summer before freshman year we stayed on campus for two weeks. During this time, we had many workshops and many tours of the different engineering facilities. It was very interesting to see many of the buildings and get an in-depth explanation as to what the facilities were, such as the nuclear reactor, wind tunnel, and more.
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