Mom, First Generation Student, and PhD Student with Fernanda Sulantay

Episode #67

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Many examples of hispanics who came to the US and thrived after facing lots of cultural barriers have already been featured on this show. And today’s guest, a woman engineer and mother of two pursuing her PhD, also deserves a special spot among them.

Fernanda Sulantay first came to the US when she was 19 years old. She started out at a community college, taking part in many projects that gave her lots of hands-on experience. This experience not only allowed her to get a job even before graduating, but also got her started in the research world at Princeton University. Later on, she got accepted to a PhD program at Yale University. And people still think a community college is still not a great option, right?

Today, Fernanda shares her life story as a first generation college student, how she dealt with cultural differences in school and work, and how she balances her life responsibilities and goals as a mother of two pursuing a PhD.

Fernanda Sulantay is a chemical engineer pursuing her PhD in chemical engineering at Yale University. She is also a content creator who helps college students thrive, especially those coming from underrepresented backgrounds and low-income families. She was born and raised in El Salvador and is now living in Connecticut. She is also a mother of two.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Fernanda's Story as an Immigrant Coming into the US for more Life Opportunities
  • How Practical Projects in College Can Give You the Hands-on Experience You Need 
  • How She Got into Academic Research at Princeton University under the REU Program
  • The Benefits of a Community College People Overlook — And Why It’s a Great Option
  • A Financial Aid Resource That Can Cover All (or a Huge Part of) Your Education Costs
  • The Challenges First Generation Students Have to Overcome on Their Own…
  • …And the Best Ways for them to Overcome These Challenges.
  • Dealing With Cultural Differences in School and Work (Even if You're not an Immigrant)
  • How to Balance Life Responsibilities as an Engineer and Mother of Two Pursuing a PhD
  • Getting Accepted for a PhD Program in Chemical Engineering at Yale University
  • How to Handle Universities’ Lack of Support for Moms Going Through Grad School
  • How to Make Important Decisions Regarding Work, Education, and Life
  • Why Mental Health Matters — And How It Can Increase Your Productivity
  • Fernanda’s Social Media Content Creation on Instagram Inspiring Other Engineers
  • There’s No Set Deadlines in Life: Focus on What Matters to You, And on Your Own Time
  • Fernanda's #1 Life Advice Regardless of Your Age

Resources Mentioned:

Engineering Our Future #48 – Sandra LaPlante from Papaya Tutor
University of Connecticut
Princeton University
Yale University
University of Colorado Boulder
FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid
REU – Research Experience for Undergraduates

Connect with Fernanda:

Fernanda’s Instagram – @fernsulantay
Fernanda’s TikTok – @fernsulantay

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Podcast Gear

Music by Jack Winders

Check my favorites

🎙 My favorite tech and podcast gear // https://www.luisfelipeduque.com/tech
📚 My favorite Books // https://www.luisfelipeduque.com/books
🏗 Check the Engineer Gift Guide // https://www.luisfelipeduque.com/engineergiftguide

My favorite software

📚 How I remember what I read (Readwise) // https://www.luisfelipeduque.com/Readwise
🔧 Find all the tools I use to run my business and stay organized // https://www.luisfelipeduque.com/tools

Connect with me

Engineering our Future

Subscribe to the Podcast: www.luisfelipeduque.com/podcast
Support the Podcast: http://bit.ly/EOFPodcastSupport
Twitter: http://bit.ly/EOFTwitter
Instagram: http://bit.ly/EOFInstagram

Business Inquiries go here

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