When it comes to dream jobs, Lily Swanson’s heart is set on managing a large bridge redesign. Her MSOE education is propelling her in the right direction. “I knew that majoring in civil engineering with a structural specialty would teach me the skills to make that dream possible.”

Swanson is already applying those skillsets to real-world projects through MSOE’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-MSOE). EWB-MSOE is a student chapter of Engineers Without Borders–USA (EWB-USA), a nonprofit humanitarian engineering organization whose mission is to build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs. Swanson serves as the fundraising officer for the group.

“This year’s project, the Manatial Water Project, is designing and creating a pump system and water distribution line to get water to homes in Guatemala. As an organization, we hope to travel to Guatemala in the spring to start the implementation of this project.”

Not only is Swanson making a difference abroad, but she’s also impacting the MSOE and Milwaukee community as a CREATE Student Fellow.

“I wanted to be a CREATE Student Fellow to connect with the Milwaukee community and make a difference. My goal is to be an advocate for all students on campus and grow as a leader.”

As a fellow, she works alongside her peers on leadership projects while also spreading the MSOE Mindset. “I use all parts of the MSOE Mindset every day as a student and young professional. Specifically, I have learned the value of being a passionate learner. Choosing to show up to class every day and learn adds value to my everyday life and will benefit me and the company I go to work for post-graduation.”

The CREATE Student Fellows are currently working in two different groups on a community-based project as well as an internal MSOE project. Both groups serve as leaders and followers to hone their leadership skills. “I am looking forward to seeing the end products of the projects we just started.”

Originally from Woodbury, Minnesota, the small class sizes and atmosphere are what caught Swanson’s interest in MSOE, and it’s the people that kept her hooked. “My favorite part about MSOE and my major are the people. We have the best professors in the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department. They are extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help after class.”