Giuliana Cabrera Sanchez ’25: “A big thing is learning to make and follow your own path”

Giuliana Cabrera Sanchez ’25, an electrical engineering and computer science major with a concentration in literature, says her aim is to develop technology for social good. A recipient of the Professor Amar Bose Scholarship, the Florida native is studying software engineering and embedded systems with an emphasis on front-end and system integration. Her volunteer work revolves around breaking down educational barriers for underserved students. The secretary of the Latino Cultural Center and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers chapter at MIT, she also is president of Alpha Chi Omega and helps lead the sorority’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She has traveled to Spain to study Spanish literature and history and to Brazil as part of a Women and Gender Studies course, Race, Place, and Modernity in the Americas, which she calls “probably the best class” she has taken at MIT.

Q: What inspires you?

Being able to make an impact in other people’s lives. I enjoy being a driving force in the MIT community. I love talking to people, meeting new people, and learning new things to unite different communities at MIT.

Q: What’s your favorite place at MIT?

The Latino Cultural Center has its own lounge in the student center, and it’s one of my favorite places because it’s a safe space to relax. MIT can be really busy and overwhelming, with people involved in a lot of things on campus and academically. Sometimes you just need a place to disconnect. The Latino Cultural Center Lounge has provided that for me.

Q: Can you tell me about one interest or hobby you’ve discovered since you came to MIT?

This is kind of funny, but I realized I really enjoy sports and taking part in the different PE classes here at MIT. In high school I did soccer and swimming and was passionate about them, but they’re both really intense. I wanted to find a way to have that outlet here without it being super time-consuming. PE classes have been a good opportunity to channel that. It’s been a really good time meeting other people and learning pickleball or badminton. I’m from Miami and obviously didn’t ice skate there, so I took ice skating here. I’m hoping to take archery next year before I graduate.

Q: Tell me about one conversation that changed the trajectory of your time at MIT.

A big aspect is how supportive upperclassmen are. One conversation that really changed my perspective of being here was talking to a senior when I was a sophomore. They assured me that even though you might be majoring in one thing and still unsure what you want to do in the future, you can always change your trajectory, based on the skills you develop through your experiences and the opportunities you take at MIT, whether in research or MISTI classes. They said, “As long as you’re able to adapt and then transfer those skills to whatever other industry you’d want to pursue, you’ll be okay.” That was really helpful because MIT can be really stressful, and not knowing what you want to do in the future can feel daunting.

Q: What are you looking forward to about life after graduation, and what do you think you’ll miss about MIT?

I’ll definitely miss the community at MIT. It’s full of so many passionate people who are extremely smart, but also extremely dedicated and supportive and active in so many different things on campus. I’ll really miss that passion and diversity of interests and backgrounds and being able to learn so much from so many different people. A big thing is learning to make and follow your own path. I’ll be able to take that with me afterwards and be confident in the decisions I make.

Q: Do you have any ideas about the work you’d like to pursue after you leave?

Right now, I’m between pursuing software engineering or embedded systems. I’m looking into companies that work on hardware impacting educational technology.

Q: How has receiving the Bose Scholarship helped?

The Bose Scholarship has really made a huge difference in my life at MIT. I’ve been able to do so many things I’d never thought I could do. It can be overwhelming to be a first-generation/low-income college student where you are trying to support yourself and your family at home. The scholarship is the support I need to take advantage of the opportunities MIT has to offer. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d have the free time to go abroad, make connections, and focus on my academics as well.

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