People of Braven: Monica Cervantes

Posted on
Monica Cervantes, Braven Fellow Fall ‘18

Growing up, I spent a lot of time building computers with my dad which inspired me to pursue a major in mechanical engineering. He had his own business called CPU Tune Up where he fixed peoples’ computers by breaking them apart then putting them back together. I went to help him at every home he visited to fix a computer.

He would always say, “Give me that part. Give me that part. That’s what this is called. This is the hard drive, the CPU, the GPU.” He taught me everything he knew about computers, so I knew how to build and fix computers as well.

My dad also had other jobs, one of them being a DJ. When I was younger, I made him a present: a miniature DJ set with rotating turntables. It said “#1 Dad” on it and had little cardboard disks that I made using a motor I found in one of my toys. When I gave it to him, both of my parents just looked at me like, “Where…What…How did you do this?” I always liked to build stuff on my own, taking spare pieces and making things from scratch.

My high school had an organization called SWE, Society of Women Engineers. At events, they would feature all engineering majors but showed just a snippet of each one, so I took a college course for engineering, Introduction to AutoCAD, where I was introduced to electrical engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering. However, I hated house blueprints and I hated making circuit boards, but when it came to mechanical parts, I fell in love and thought, “Why can’t I just do this for a living?” As I got more interested in AutoCAD, I again fell in love with the idea of creating something from scratch because on top of being an engineer, I’m also an artist, and for me, CAD is a form of art.

In mechanical engineering, I’m focusing in design — specifically, the design of robotics and hope to have a strong job in that field after graduation. Currently, I am working for Applied Materials.