Meet Matias Aranguiz, EG23

School: School of Engineering

Degree: Master’s in Mechanical Engineering

Home: My home is where my family is—Miami. But it’s also wherever my friends are.

What’s the single most important thing you’ve learned at Tufts?

I earned my undergrad degree from Tufts last year in mechanical engineering and physics, and then I went on to complete the fifth-year master’s degree program. When I first got here, I felt very far away from my family in Miami. While I’ve gained so much academically during my time here, the biggest lesson has been how to be independent, how to grow as my own person.

Also, I’m a BESTie—I attended the Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts program. The summer before first year, I came to campus and took two courses with other minority engineering students. Through that, I made a lot of friends and became familiar with the university and with Boston before other students even arrived on campus. That helped make the transition much easier for me.

Complete the following sentence: “Because of Tufts, I…”

Realized I should complete a graduate degree in engineering. Being here as an undergrad allowed me to see that I might eventually want to teach or do research. There’s a lot of talk about education research in the School of Engineering: I think some of that rubbed off on me. I tutored fellow students for a couple of years, and I’m currently TAing in a class for sophomore mechanical engineers. My first few years at Tufts showed me that I wanted to go further.

Any advice for others who want to follow a path similar to yours?

Engineering work is not easy. But it’s doable and ultimately rewarding if you just stick with it. So keep going—and don’t fall victim to imposter syndrome. I’ve seen that in a lot of people here. Know that Tufts accepted you for a reason. You’re not here because someone made a mistake; you’re here because you belong here.

What’s next for you?

I’m hoping to work for five or so years and then see if coming back to education feels right to me. If it does, opportunities will pop up.

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