Extraordinary Engineer: Mariko Shaw

"Ask every question that will help you succeed. A large part of having  a network and advancing through engineering is being able to communicate your needs to people."

Mariko Shaw, a mechanical engineering student from Atlanta, credits her support system for helping her blossom at the University of Georgia. She says her family, friends, and organizations like the Society of Women Engineers have been with her every step of the way, helping her overcome obstacles. 

Atlanta, Georgia

High School
Benjamin Elijah Mays High School

Degree Major
Mechanical Engineering 

Expected Graduation
Spring 2022

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UGA? 
I love how you can find something to do no matter your interests or specific niche area. I have formed many great friendships with people from events and clubs across campus that have made my experience at UGA wonderful.

Mariko Shaw (left) and fellow engineering student Porsche Chen enjoy a spring day on the University of Georgia campus.

Why did you choose engineering? 
I was exposed to engineering in high school through the Perry Initiative program. It uncovered the different ways you can use an engineering degree and the amazing women there to support you in those industries.

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced while at UGA, and how did you overcome it?
Struggling in my calculus class was one of my greatest struggles here at UGA. I struggled with how to properly address my concerns and find solutions for them. With the help of my support system, tutoring, and patient, encouraging professors, I was able to overcome it.

What have you learned (or are learning) that has made a difference for you? 
Ask every question that will help you succeed. A large part of having  a network and advancing through engineering is being able to communicate your needs to people. I am still learning how to access the things I want for myself.

What/Who has helped you become a successful student here at UGA? 
My support system is the reason I have been able to blossom at UGA. My fantastic family, phenomenal friends, and organizations like SWE (Society of Women Engineers) have been with me every step of the way helping me overcome obstacles in my path.

Mariko Shaw (back row, third from left) and other members of UGA's Society of Women Engineers chapter work with students interested in STEM fields at an Athens area elementary school.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
The Reading Room in MLC (Miller Learning Center) is my favorite place on campus because it is always quiet and peaceful. It’s a nice place to do work and to relax in between classes.

What is your favorite restaurant in Athens? 
Cali N Tito’s is one of the first restaurants I went to in Athens and is my go to for any meal out.

Favorite class at UGA?
My favorite engineering class has been AutoCAD with Mrs. Tanner. It was one of my first classes in Driftmier and made me excited for my engineering degree. My favorite class outside of engineering was Introduction to Ethics with Mr. Pinero.

Best memory at UGA so far?
My favorite memory at UGA has been Spring Break 2020 to Puerto Rico. My friends and I  were able to truly bond with each other and explore a little bit of the world before it shut down.

What advice do you have for younger students who wish to pursue engineering?
The worst someone can say is no. If you are interested in an idea, research, a class, position, internship, etc., ask and apply for those opportunities.

How do you hope to impact society with your engineering degree? 
Recently, I have gained an interest in teaching and fostering young minds coming behind me.  This may come in the form of teaching professionally or participating in STEM mentorship programs wherever I am.

← back