Meet Kelly-Anne Zayan — Featured Student for June

What is your name? Kelly-Anne Zayan Where are you from? Fenton, MI What school do you go to? What year are you? Michigan Technological University, graduating senior Do you hold any positions in your AIChE chapter or with AIChE nationally? Yes, 2nd term as AIChE President for MTU AIChE chapter. No national position. Describe an event in your chapter that you are most proud to have been involved with. My sophomore year (2011), Michigan Tech hosted the North Central Regional Conference and it could not have gone better! Lots of planning, hard work, and attention to detail made it an exceptional conference. I was the "right hand man" for planning. What are your plans after graduation? In what field are you most interested in having an impact? I secured a job with Praxair, which starts July 1, 2013 in Ecourse, MI (south of Detroit). There's so much to learn - I'm not quite sure what field I want to impact the most just yet, so I'm open to everything. How do you blow off steam and keep your sanity between classes, homework, and projects? I try to laugh as much as possible! My roommate, classmate and best friend (yes, that describes the same person - we probably spend too much time together) and I keep each other sane by cracking jokes and laughing at every possible moment. Late nights in the library or in the computer labs doing homework/studying/projects will get to you if you can't laugh it off. Its also important to remind myself daily that this hard work is for a reason and the payoff is huge - a little insanity in my undergrad years is to be expected for my future life as an engineer to be everything I want. Which of your undergraduate classes have you most enjoyed? As crazy as it sounds, I really liked thermodynamics. I spent 30+ hours a week on that class alone, studying, struggling through homework and beating my head into my book - in the end though, I've never worked harder in one class to get an A and it is so rewarding to have my hard work pay off. How did you decide to pursue a degree in ChE? My father is a ChE/EE, my older sister is a ME ,and several of my aunts and uncles are engineers as well, so I guess it runs in my family. I've always wanted to be an engineer, and I liked chemistry and math in high school. My parents pushed me to choose a degree in which I could graduate and attain a job, so ChE was perfect.

Kelly-Anne whitewater rafting at Ohio Pyle with friends. (click to enlarge)

What is the best kept secret on your campus? I'm not at liberty to discuss that!

What are you most looking forward to after graduation? Starting my career and life as a fabulous 22-year-old. No more homework! Time for activities and hobbies that I want to do - I have some big plans for this summer and the future. What will you be most saddened to leave behind at school when you move on? I'll be sad to leave my friends behind - we're all moving on to bigger and better things but it's bittersweet to be losing the camaraderie with the friends I've made while in college. What is the most unexpected thing you have been asked in an interview? In a mining company interview, I was asked to supply information that I knew about several specific mine sites. It doesn't sound out of the ordinary, but I was taken back by the inquiry because it was so specific and I didn't have that great of an answer because I was so surprised. All the more reason to REALLY do your research before an interview. Do you have any advice to incoming students and underclassmen ChEs around the world? YES. I talk to many incoming students and I always say the same thing 1.) Keep your grades up! Everyone says this, but when you're 18 and just want to have the college experience, grades are usually the first thing to go. 2.) Get involved - join AIChE and one other club. Employers will want to know why you didn't get involved with the professional society tied with your major and your field, so I suggest joining AIChE as soon as possible. It's also important to be more than just your GPA and try new things in college, but don't overload yourself with more than you can handle. 3.) When you need someone to talk to, call your mom or dad. They raised you, they know just what to say. Being in college doesn't mean you don't need them anymore. 4.) Advocate for yourself. Do you need help in a class? Do you struggle with getting a routine? Do you let your roommate walk all over you? No one will be able to help you with these issues or others if YOU don't speak up and stand up for yourself. College is your time to do what you want, so make sure YOU are your FIRST priority. What's your first thought when you wake up in the morning? "Ugh, its still snowing." In April, it was still snowing -- no joke. That is definitely unique to Michigan Tech...but most mornings I usually think "I do not want to get out of bed" or "What will my professors throw at me today?" I'm really not a morning person - I need coffee to wake my brain up. How would you like to be involved with AIChE after graduation? I want to join my local chapter and tie myself to YPC.

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