• Student Stories: Rachel Smith

  • Mechanical Engineering Technology

    As a child, MHCC Mechanical Engineering Technology student, Rachel Smith preferred miniature cars and building blocks to Barbie Dolls. “I like to work with my hands, I want to know how small things work.” Smith said. “I like to see I’ve created something, and that it works.”

    At Sandy High School, Smith tested the waters by taking engineering classes and got hooked. After she gets her MHCC degree, she hopes to design useful products in the medical field. “I want to help create things that make a difference to people,” Smith said.

    Has Smith had to deal with career stereotypes entering a male-dominated field? “Everyone I know has been very supportive,” Smith said. “And at Mt. Hood Community College, the classes are small and the instructors flexible. We have a great class—we’re like a community.”

    Mechanical engineering technology is an excellent field for women, according to Smith. This degree leads to jobs in many local industries, and combines skills that women easily develop, such as design, creativity, attention to detail and people skills.

    Rachel encourages anyone to enter this field. She has had challenges sometimes with math classes, she says, but has no doubts about completing her degree and getting a job. “Take it slow and easy,” Smith said, “Math and science may be difficult at times, but you can get over the bumps.” Some people call Rachel a pioneer, but she says she is just doing what she has always wanted to do.