ECE Student Spotlight: Amber Silvaggio
Sometimes following in the footsteps of the family business is a safe route for students heading to college. After all, parents can offer helpful advice and guidance since they’ve been there before.
Fourth-year student Amber Silvaggio, however, allowed her passion for discovery to fuel her time at The Ohio State University. She is the first in her family to explore the world of electrical engineering – and her involvement is only growing.
Silvaggio is the new 2016-2017 president of the IEEE Undergraduate Chapter at Ohio State. She spent time prior to that as an Edison Engineering Development Program Intern at GE Healthcare. More recently, she became an undergraduate researcher in the Electronic Materials and Devices Laboratory, working on modeling of multijunction solar cells. Earlier this month, she also introduced herself as one of the new student representatives of the EE/ECE Alumni Society Board.
Silvaggio helped explain why she choose to pursue electrical engineering at Ohio State and offered some advice for new students looking to get involved.
What made you want to pursue engineering, and ECE specifically?
When I was 15, I was able to start taking elective classes that suited my interests and didn’t need to fulfill certain requirements. I took a number of different courses and found some fields that just weren’t right for me; they weren't things I could picture myself doing for the rest of my life. At one point I took a computer repair course and loved learning about problem solving in a technical area, but it didn’t go into sufficient detail. I wanted to know how devices worked, how they were designed, and how I could innovate. When I started engineering classes at Ohio State, I knew engineering was definitely the right choice. Throughout my internships and ECE courses, I found that I really enjoyed learning and applying the material, which confirmed that this was my calling.
Where are you from and what led you to Ohio State?
I am from a small town called Columbia Station, about 25 miles southwest of Cleveland. There were a number of factors that led me to Ohio State, including family advice. The main attractors for me were the excellent academic ratings, especially in the ECE major, as well as the openness and versatility of a large campus.
Where do you hope your degree will take you professionally?
I have been fortunate to achieve my first professional goal: a position in a rotational engineering leadership program with the company I have interned with throughout college. My long term goal is to hold a technical/functional leadership position. I want to inspire and motivate teams while driving technological development that will benefit the general public.
Plans for graduate degrees?
I plan to pursue a master's degree in Electrical Engineering as I work in industry.
What do you like doing in your free time to help balance the stress of school?
In my spare time, I enjoy relaxing with friends, visiting my family, and playing some video games. Another one of my favorite activities is being involved in IEEE. If I could recommend one thing to students, it would be to get involved with a student organization that you care about. Join a community, make friends, and make memories.