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Ekaterina Paramonova ’13

Ekaterina Paramonova ’13

Assistant Student Leader for the Fall of 2012

Q :: What motivated you to apply to participate in the Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program?

A :: Coming to MIT, I knew that I was going to get a solid background in science and research through my engineering classes and UROP. However, I also wanted to find a program that would complement the intense technical practice. I wanted a program that would put me in a situation outside of my comfort zone and force me to struggle, maybe fail, get feedback from a mentor, and learn for the next time around. I wanted to get the experience of failing to lead a PR team or fail building an unsuccessful mock-assembly line for circuits... without the fear of getting fired because I did it for the first time at my job.

Q :: What have you learnt by participating in the program about engineering leadership? Why do you feel this is important for Course 22 students?

A :: I learned so much about the need for structured communication, delegation of work, and how to deliver an effective summary of an idea or project trhough an assortment of classes:

  • A project engineering IAP course in New Hampshire in which you ski during the day with your classmates and learn about project schedule development in the evening;
  • A design class that teaches you the importance of design in every aspect of life — from coffee cup lids to telephone systems and Flour cinnamon buns.
  • 2-hour Engineering Leadership Labs (ELLs) in which you and your team of 6 GELs engage in interactive exercises, like constructing a soda-bottle rocket in 1.5 hours with a 50-cent budget by being resourceful, negotiating with leaders of countries, and discussing ideas with leaders in industry.

Q :: How will you apply these skills with your degree in Course 22?

A :: You can acquire good technical knowlege and skills through an engineering degree. But in every job — at a national lab, industry, university, startup — you will need to know how to interact with people effectively and complete tasks on time, to spec, and to meet a budget. GEL lets students practice mini versions of real situations from the industry and then hear life experiences from industry representatives. You get to practice being a leader in GEL.

Ekaterina Paramonova: A nuclear networker

Ekaterina (Katia) Paramonova ’13 acknowledges starting Course 22 with some distinct advantages: both her father and grandfather work in the nuclear industry, and her Russian parents insisted on fluency in the language, opening up opportunities in another country with a well-established nuclear sector. Now this 19-year-old undergraduate is intent on leveraging her assets in some surprising ways, establishing a unique career track that intriguingly combines nuclear engineering and diplomacy. ... more

VIDEO :: Ekaterina Paramonova :: Powering developing Nations

TIMTalks VIDEO :: Ekaterina Paramonova :: Thawing the Cold War

Meet Ekaterina Paramonova

"The connections you make now as a student will last you a lifetime.." ... more

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