Women Who Reign: Gulnaaz Afzal

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me,” by Erma Bombeck


Meet Gulnaaz, SWE “Engineer of the Year” in 2017, Chief Reporter at News Record, Student Poster Author of “Design, Manufacture, and Testing of Hyperloop UC” at ASME Turbo Expo 2018, SWE podcast ‘Diverse’ guest 2019, Radio Show Host of Bowled Over Bollywood which won the most popular radio show award at Bearcast Media, Academic Writing Coach —  “Employee of the Week” award by Learning Commons, Web Content Director at Bearcast Media, etc. 

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I can speak about 5 languages and can do belly dancing

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
Vox, Polymatter, and Crash Course for their excellent videos on relevant issues; Sleep and Forest for tabs on good sleep and productivity enhancement respectively. Okay, I love Instagram and YouTube too. Reasons? Duh! 

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Michelle Obama. You don’t need to be the frontman to be a trailblazer. She was the wife of a president but seldom did her husband stole her thunder. Mrs. Obama inspired me to pursue my goals without inhibitions and stay devoted to my dreams despite criticism. Loved her quote, “When they go low, you go high.” Yes, it’s that simple.

What song makes you want to dance, gives you courage to face the day, or makes you feel strong?
“Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
The fact that I didn’t find any female Aerospace Engineers for reference inspired me to become someone who you could look up to as a representation. Lack of representation can sometimes demotivate you and make you believe that you’re not fit for a job since you cannot relate to how other people look or do in the said profession or space. I took this very challenge to heart and pursued my love for aerospace engineering.

What have your challenges been as an international student while also being a woman in STEM?
I believe being an international student keeps you up for financial, academic, emotional, and cultural challenges. But it also makes you stronger and prepares you to battle against all odds and take greater pride in your accomplishments — like Marcus Tulius Cicero said, “Greater the Difficulty, Greater the Glory.” Additionally, studying a tough major only strengthens your debate and gives others the hope that anything can be achieved even in the face of adversity. 

Ideal Job:
A job which celebrates my expertise in both technology and communication. I’d want to pursue my strong interest in Electric Vehicles where I’d communicate my ideas for development of the vehicles, oversee the progress, get my hands dirty and do the work, support sustainability, and make our company pioneers of change.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Believe in yourself. No matter how amazing your skill set, qualifications, and support system, if you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, you cannot achieve the success that you deserve.

Connect with Gulnaaz!
Instagram: GulnaazAfzal
Twitter: GulnaazAfzal
Facebook: Gulnaaz Afzal
LinkedIn: Gulnaaz Afzal

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