Extraordinary Engineer: Victoria Lam

Victoria Lam Headshot

Victoria Lam

New York City

High School
North Gwinnett High School

Degree Major
B.S., Electrical Engineering

Other Degrees
Sociology Minor

Expected Graduation
May 2024

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UGA?

My favorite part about being a UGA student is that I’m able to submerge myself in a diverse environment filled with people of different perspectives. I’ve met so many awesome people with their own unique experiences who’ve helped shape me into the person I’m today. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to meet these people if I hadn’t come to UGA.

Why did you choose engineering?

Engineering is a unique blend of physics, math, and, weirdly enough, interpersonal skills. It’s a cornerstone study and practice for advancing and becoming a truly equitable society. At first, I chose engineering because I was just simply good at calculus and physics, but now I choose engineering because it’s an extremely valuable and under-majored-in practice that empowers the powerless. It’s not a secret that engineering isn’t too diverse, but by pursuing these difficult degrees as minority students, we can empower ourselves and therefore the community.

Why is it important for the university to have a diverse community?

A diverse community is necessary for the college because we as a collective society have a responsibility to be empathetic and care for our neighbors. If knowledge is power, then by making education more accessible to a diverse community, we can empower these marginalized communities. We can equip them with the tools they need to help their own communities, and we can help support one another. Especially in engineering, unique or uncommon perspectives are necessary for making a truly equitable and better world.

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced while at UGA, and how did you overcome it?

The greatest challenge I’ve faced was mental health. As a neurodivergent person, being in a new place with a completely new set of rules was difficult. There’s a lot of self-doubt and made-up scenarios that goes into my head, but at the end of day, realizing that I have made some positive impact on others — be it through my wonderful SASE membies or the friends that have long graduated — it gets me through it.

Victoria Lam by UGA letters


What have you learned that has made a difference for you?

This isn’t anything too terribly wise, but drinking water, eating a good meal, and sleeping are very important and can make all the difference in performance. Learning that you are worthy of being cared for, be it either by someone else or yourself, is extremely important.

Who has helped you become a successful student at UGA?

This is an extremely difficult question, as there isn’t a singular person as there was a collective community that helped me. If I had to list a few of many, my parents and my brother have been fundamental to in my continuation to pursuing this degree and living in general. My peers have also helped me through difficult times, to name a few: Abigail Bishop, Bailey Martinez, Mariko Shaw, Glenie Morales, Sreya Bitra, and Lynn. And of course, faculty, staff, and offices of the college have helped me greatly in so many ways that I can’t even elaborate in just a few sentences. I truly go to a college with the most eager-to-lend-a-hand people ever.

Victoria Lam holding award


What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

I don’t feel a particular affinity for spots on campus, but I totally love riding the buses sometimes and just people-watching. Watching the bus pass by places all over campus, you can really see the different types of people and lifestyles they live, and it gives you a greater respect for living as a single person in a whole. It humbles you.

What has been your favorite class at UGA?

My favorite classes non-engineering-wise have been my sociology classes, which I took for my minor, and my current engineering elective, TXMI4900: Fundamentals and Applications of UX/UI Design in Fashion Branding, which has allowed me do dabble more on the “prettier” side of design than lines of code would otherwise allow me to do in engineering. Engineering-wise, I really like my Informatics classes which I’m currently taking for an Informatics certificate. They just make sense to me, and are really practical with the direction tech is moving into.

What has been your best memory at UGA?

There’s been many great memories that I’ve made at UGA, so it’s hard to pick one. I suppose one that resonates very well in my mind was during my time serving as president of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers. In October, we went to SASEcon for the very first time in Atlanta, GA, and so many of our members had a great time. It was unlike anything we’d ever seen before, and quite a handful of people received offers. It made me happy to see that the confidence of our SASE members were being raised, and that they were finally being recognized for the work and potential they held. I’m happy to helped led that.


Victoria Lam at SASEcon


What advice do you have for younger students who wish to pursue engineering?

It’s not going to very easy or clean-cut for some, but just do it! I’m in my 6th year! I’m a first-gen student from a low-income family! It’s insane! But life’s insane and never easy. You’ll make it through — you just got to keep track of your own mental health and value yourself. Everything else tends to work itself out.

How do you hope to impact society with your engineering degree?

I’m hoping that, with the type of perspectives and thinking that engineering has equipped me with, I can go into the world with this knowledge and apply it, whether in an engineering setting or not. It’s just another useful tool that I can use to navigate the world, much like any other unique experience.

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