Paige Selby

Paige Selby

Software Engineer
Raytheon Company
MA, United States
Paige Selby
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Paige Selby graduated from the University of Southern California with honors in 2012 with a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Paige is a Software Engineer at Raytheon in Boston, MA where she works on software development, verification, and validation for large-scale aerospace projects. She was elected to be President of the Young Employees Success Network at Raytheon. She was pictured and interviewed in the “Top 100 Employers” supplement to the Wall Street Journal in September 2013. Paige was invited by the Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to serve on the USC Emerging Leaders Board to champion the School and advise the Dean. Paige has a passion for inspiring the next STEM generation especially female engineers. She is actively involved in her communities by speaking to high schools about careers in engineering and volunteering in math and science education.
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Paige Selby

An engineer can wear a variety of different clothing depending on the job location and role responsibilities. For engineering jobs located in office buildings, engineers will wear anything from jeans to a suit depending on the company culture. Some engineering roles require specialty clothing, for example, a civil engineer might need a hard hat and steel-toed boots or a chemical engineer might wear a lab coat and protective glasses.

I work in software engineering, and I wear jeans and a blouse to work. Sometimes the technologies we work on are 'wearable', so check out some of the wearable technologies such as fitness trackers.

No matter what you are wearing, engineering uses your brain to solve problems which is very rewarding!

Hi Beatrice, thanks for your questions.  You are making a great choice to be a software engineer.  I learned many skills from my USC education and I am really happy that I studied engineering.  

I have listed the three majors that you mentioned with a link to their undergraduate website.  

The CS major has over half its classes as coding classes.  ISE has approximately 3 coding classes and ISIS computer track has approximately 5 coding classes.  If you are unsure what major to pick, remember that you can always transfer into a different major once you have started school at USC.  This link (  has links to all the majors and course requirements - click on CS, ISE, and ISIS to get a better idea of which courses and schedules look interesting.  

I decided to major in ISE as an undergraduate at USC because it incorporated both engineering and management perspectives.  In ISE, I learned about systems, processes, and people and how they all work together to drive innovation and technology in an organization.  If I had studied CS, I would have focused more on knowledge and skills for system, hardware, and software development as well as related theories and algorithms.  I am now in graduate school at Brown University, and I am studying Computer Science which builds perfectly on my ISE background.

Also, it is never too early to start coding - check out the following websites for courses or tutorials:www.codecademy.comwww.edx.orghttp: //girlswhocode.com, and  Keep up the hard work and follow your engineering dream!!

Being an engineer is awesome!  Your sister is making a smart choice to be an engineer.  When people are engineers, they work in teams, solve interesting problems, and help the world.  

I suggest that you ask your sister some questions about what it is like to be an engineer.  My experience has been fun and very rewarding.  I am always excited about life and learning because I am an engineer!  Maybe you can become an engineer one day too!  One of the first steps to become an engineer is to study math and science in school. I encourage you to get started today!

In order to work as a car engineer, you might consider getting a degree in automotive engineering.  Like all engineers, car engineers work on solving problems.  Car engineers also care about the safety of the driver and passengers, and the cars they design and build need to meet certain safety standards.  
The benefit of working at an engineering company is that you always have an exciting and challenging problem to solve.  I like the work environment because engineers get to work in teams.  Once we complete a project, I have a huge sense of accomplishment which is the greatest perk.  Companies also offer generous benefit packages, including insurance and bonuses, which are always perks too.