Gina Adam

Gina Adam

PhD student
University of California at Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
Gina Adam
Ask a Question:
Required field
Please note
The engineers who take the time to respond to student questions on this forum are often very busy and may not respond to some questions, particularly those that have been answered elsewhere. Please be sure to review previous questions and answers to see if your question may have already been addressed.
Enter the code shown: (only upper case)


Gina Adam (NAE/NAEPO) is pursuing her PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara with the financial support of the International Fulbright Science & Technology Award. Her research is related to neuromorphic hybrid circuits, which incorporates the advantages of the CMOS technology with those of memristive devices. Through her research, Gina hopes to bring solutions in the field of neural networks capable of ultra fast processing of information and advanced learning opportunities. A native of Romania, Gina received her bachelor’s degree from Politehnica University of Bucharest.

Answers by Gina Adam

Hi Andrea,

I think if you work hard, you will have plenty of job opportunities in whatever area you decide. I would recommend you to go into a college program that you like, but take a few classes in areas outside your expertise. Once you learn more about different topics, your opinions might change. I viewed college as a time to explore different paths. I started as a computer engineer in college, then move to electrical engineer and material science for PhD, then who knows, maybe I will even do nanobioengineering in the future. Everything seems inter-related to everything nowadays. To sum up, my advice would be go for your top choice, but get a breath of expertise in college to ease your transition to grad school or the job market! Internships, summer research programs, participation in engineering competitions, are all great ways to built a portfolio of multi-disciplinary practical skills. Good luck!

Hi Alice,

Nice to hear that you keep engineering as an option even if you fear that your math and science are not that good.

You are right that engineering can lead to many different fields, because it provides you so called transferable skills (problem solving, analytical skills, attention to details and constraints, etc).

Unfortunately, what branch of engineering is more suitable for you, only you can find out. My first recommendation would be to take a look at the EngineerGirl! website, "What they do" section and "Try on a career". Read through the examples of all the careers listed there. Don't ignore any because you don't know what you'll miss. Make a list of all those examples that catch your attention. Then find out more about those careers and specific fields. Check colleges that offer degrees in those fields, see what courses they are offering and what jobs their alumni are pursuing. If you found a field that you think you might enjoy, but you are afraid that you don't have the skills for it, don't worry. When you work on something that you like, it will come natural to you to put in time and effort to learn the necessary skills.

My second recommendation would be to always keep your mind open and explore your options. Try to pick a university that has a variety of schools and a variety of departments within the school of engineering. That would allow you to take various courses and find out more about what you like. If you can, make sure you take the courses with good teachers, so you get a real flavor of the field and don't get turn off by the bad teaching style. Go for internships in industry, try doing research in one of the university labs, do volunteering work as part of Engineers without Borders, for example. Once you get more and more experience, you might find out that your interests are changing or they are becoming more well defined. Don't be afraid to change your mind if that happens. Working in something that you like will pay off in the future.

Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck with the search!