Juliana Russo is fascinated by computers – and not just the tasks they perform for an astute user. Instead, she takes a deeper look into their inner workings: the many circuit boards that comprise the intricate whole.
That’s why she chose Electrical Engineering Technology as her major, she explained.
“You start with a blank canvas and you get to make something. Plus, you can apply that to the real world,” she said.
In fact, she does exactly that in her favorite classes. She designs circuit boards on a computer, prints it out and then fashions the board itself, before soldering the design on its surface. Step by step, connections are made – creating light displays, timers and other devices.
She first developed her interest at Maine-Endwell High School, where she took classes in electronics and engineering. Soldering became a hobby, and she completes kits in her spare time.
At SUNY Broome, she expanded both her knowledge and skills with courses in electronic fabrication, robotics, C++ coding and more. Professor Gary DiGiacomo has been a welcome guide.
“He’s super-nice and if you don’t understand something, he’ll explain it well,” she said.
In fact, Professor DiGiacomo encouraged Juliana to apply for her first job in the field. SUNY Broome’s Center for Career Development helps students prepare for the job market through mock interviews and more, and Juliana came to hers well-prepared.
Several months ago, BAE Systems hired her as a high-voltage tester – before she even completed her degree. She plans to stay at the company after graduation, while earning a second degree in Engineering Science.
Juliana is often the only woman in her engineering technology classes, but she has made friends of both genders on campus. In fact, she doesn’t have to go far to find familiar faces: She’s a triplet, and both of her siblings also attend SUNY Broome.
When it comes to following your interests, don’t be afraid to think outside the box – or manufacture it yourself, soldering the connections and programming your future.
“If you’re a girl who wants to go into any engineering field, go for it! I’m happy I did,” she said.