Some students at California Baptist University are going against the grain on the path of pursuing a career in fields predominately run by the opposite gender.
The nursing and engineering programs are just two of the programs at CBU beginning to see the rise of more variation of men and women both inside and outside of the classroom.
Whitney Moon, freshman engineering major, said she chose engineering because she believes engineers are the developers of the future and wants to be a part of making a beneficial contribution to this profession.
Although it took her some time to adjust to the ratio of males in her classes compared to the few females, she said it has caused her to develop new friendships in her classes and gain a new level of confidence in herself.
“Every time I start my semester I do feel like an underdog,” Moon said. “There’s just a natural prejudice against you in a sense—that you don’t have as much to bring to the table, but as time goes on that starts to go away and you build relationships. I take pride in being one of the few (women), and I’m going to represent my school and engineering in general.”
Tim Kwon, senior nursing major, said he viewed nursing as a way in which he could reach out to people and truly care for their needs.
“I saw a lot of hurt in the world and saw a great opportunity through nursing to at least make a little bit of an impact in the hurting world around us,” Kwon said.
Despite the gender stereotype surrounding nursing, Kwon said he believes as long as someone is passionate about what they are doing, the negative responses from others should never interfere with a person pursuing his or her dreams.
Dr. Helen Jung, associate dean of the Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering and associate professor of civil engineering, said she decided to pursue engineering because of her love for math and physics. From the moment she made that decision, she said she only experienced the benefits of being a female in the engineering field.
Jung said she believes both men and women can provide a desired quality needed in all career fields. She encourages those who are in a major typically dominated by the opposite gender not to allow that to stop them from entering a field about which they are passionate.
“I think each gender brings a special talent to the work at hand; some may be detail orientated or think (of the) big picture,” Jung said. “What you can contribute to solve one problem can be very different. Diversity in gender will definitely provide more different and efficient solutions to a problem.”
Moon said she encourages all students to always pursue their passions regardless of any prejudice surrounding that specific field or career path.
“I don’t think people really begin to live until they step out of their comfort zone, so if that’s something that does make you step out of your comfort zone and you have a passion for it, then go for it,” Moon said. “You’re going to be able to experience things that others won’t because they aren’t willing to step out of their comfort zone.”