My name is Michael Hurtado and I am a senior Mechanical Engineering major with a Math minor at UCF. I graduated from University High School, which is right next to UCF. So, you could say I really know how to branch out. I was a member of the Global Technologies magnet program where I got a head start on learning about engineering and other STEM programs. I even did the UCF Mars Rover and Great Navel Orange Race projects as a sophomore at UHS.
Some of my favorite classes at UCF have been Solid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, and any math class. And one of my favorite professors has been Dr. Tian Tian, who taught Heat Transfer. She was incredibly friendly and patient when explaining the more complex topics, which comes in handy for a class that’s not exactly a walk in the park. Her notes were also super clear and detailed. It was kind of nice not having to stress out about getting every little piece of information down.
I decided to join the STEM Ambassadors because I believe that one of the best ways to improve yourself is by helping others. I try to volunteer as much as I can because giving back is a great way to pay it forward for all of the help I’ve received along the way. Being able to teach others about STEM earlier on is an incredibly valuable way to make sure the future generations of scientists and engineers are passionate about their work. It’s the help I wanted to receive when I was younger, so I’m happy to give it now.
The best advice I’ve been able to give to students is to study like crazy for the first test of every class you take. The beginning of the semester is always the easiest part and the first test usually has the simpler material, so it would be a big boost to the semester if you can get a good grade early on. That way it’ll be okay if you slip up once things get really busy later on.
When I’m not taking classes, peer mentoring, working at an internship, or conducting research, I like to have fun. I spend my free time trying to learn and create new things. I read, I write for a UK soccer blog, I play intramural soccer, I watch movies and TV and play video games, and I like to cook and bake. Other times I’ll hang out with friends and go out to eat. What good is it to study so hard if you don’t do anything else with your free time?