ESC Portrait: Aura Cristina Ramírez Ramírez
ESC Portraits offer insights into the lives and minds of our current members.
Aura Cristina Ramírez Ramírez is a member of the Sister Chapter.
What got you interested in ChemE?
“Plot twist” could be a good start to tell you all about myself. Ever since I was little, languages were my goal in life. I used to consider myself “gifted” at letters more than numbers which lead to me thinking in majoring in languages. It was senior year in high school, when me and my classmates took a trip to see universities. The first step I took in the National University of Colombia campus I absolutely fell in love with it. All I could think about those next days was “I want to study there”. I started searching for undergraduate programs but none of them were in languages. That’s when it hit me “Maybe I can be good at something else. Since I’m already good at letters, why not make myself be good at numbers too? They’re very important and sound like a total challenge. I’m in for it!” And so, it happened, the last program I saw on the list was Chemical Engineering. Of course, the name was misleading as I thought “I was pretty good at chemistry back in high school” and so I enrolled in it. Little did I know what Chemical Engineering really meant!
What about the AIChE?
The day I got accepted as a CE student, has been one of the happiest of my life. February 2017 and I started classes. I wasn’t exactly the kind to make friends in class, so I spent most of my days alone. That was until I saw a Facebook post that said “We’re looking for new members. Come to the meeting and learn about AIChE”. “AIChE? Is that like a research group? A cult maybe??” The intrigue was getting over my head and I had to find out what it was. So, I went. To my surprise, it was just a bunch of people that seemed too nice to be real. I was delighted! “I absolutely want to be a part of this!” I enrolled, as you may expect. Cool activities, even cooler people, I thanked my curiosity for making me go to that meeting that day. I had no idea what CE was and they cleared all my doubts. In repayment for all their kindness, I enrolled as Secretary for the Directive Board of that chapter. The beginning of my greatest journey. A year went by and I was already Academic Officer. Another year went by and I was Vicepresident. 2019 may be the most memorable year so far. I presented a workshop at the annual Student Conference and received the Freshman Recognition Award for all the work done in the chapter. It was also my first time in the ASC in Orlando, FL. My love for CE only grew.
What would you have to say to new members?
This year, 2020, I am the proud president of AIChE UNAL-Med Student Chapter in Colombia and a member of the Sister Chapter Subcommittee in the Executive Student Committee. Not only have I been very lucky to be a part of such an amazing group of people but also my love and admiration for this career gives me the fuel I need to keep going. Numbers are hard, but good friends and great memories are harder to find. So, if you ever feel like you can’t do it, just enter a Student Chapter in you University, or create one yourself, I assure you, it’s going to be worth it.