Jockabeth Ponce ’19 has always loved solving problems, and as a 3-2 engineering major, she plans on using her grounding in both science and the humanities to do just that. However, Ponce did not always plan on pursuing engineering.
“I spent my whole first year focused on the Scripps requirements, but I knew I enjoyed math, so I continued taking math courses,” she explains. “After my first year, I thought I should give engineering a try.” By extending their college experience from the traditional four years to five years, 3-2 engineering majors fulfill Scripps’ graduation requirements—all general education as well as major requirements—in three years. They then transfer to an engineering program at a different university to complete both their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.
Eager to explore engineering internships, Ponce reached out to a family friend who had a connection to SevOne, a digital infrastructure management company that provides software to organize, administer, and manage digital networks for companies worldwide. After a series of interviews with the tech company, Ponce secured a summer internship at SevOne’s Boston headquarters. She got the chance to try on many different roles at the company, working in the engineering department as well as in marketing, finance, and product management sectors. She learned about software development, workgroup management, and data collection and distribution. And, although she began the internship with limited coding experience, within weeks, Ponce had mastered HTML and CSS and was helping the company’s director of engineering update a confluence website for team collaboration.
“Because I was jumping from department to department, I was able to gain a better understanding of engineering in the real world. I had the opportunity to ask questions to better understand their process of developing and releasing products,” says Ponce. When I worked with the developers, they helped me understand the basics of coding languages, and they also showed me other interesting things I could do with my own computer.”
Newly armed with impressive coding skills, Ponce was able to pursue a personal project, designing a website of resources and links devoted to 3-2 engineering programs at colleges and universities across the country.
“When I was deciding on my major, it took me a long time to figure out which schools had 3-2 programs and what the different requirements were,” she says. “So I collected the admission and deadline information for each, and I put it all on my website. This was the biggest personal project of mine, and it was very exciting.”
Ponce is not yet sure what type of engineering she would like to pursue, but working at SevOne has allowed her to explore many career paths in a short amount of time. She believes the experience will also inform her future decisions as she begins her final year at Scripps before transferring into another school’s engineering program.
Before her internship, Ponce’s plan was to enter the workforce after graduation, but conversations with others have broadened her perspective on the subject. “So many people [I’ve talked to] recommend grad school, so now I am considering continuing my education after receiving my bachelor’s degree,” she says.
Wherever her post-Scripps path takes her, Ponce can go confidently and courageously into the world, well prepared for challenges of her chosen field.