Frequently asked questions from wpw guests

The following are frequently asked questions by hosts at WPW, answered by Upperclassman Leaders in the Galipatia Community.

  • Why did you choose Virginia Tech?

I chose Virginia Tech because of all the hands-on opportunities that are available to students from the moment they step on campus. Freshmen are encouraged to join design teams, participate in undergraduate research, and work in maker spaces like the Frith Lab ( I also thought the campus was beautiful, and it doesn’t hurt to have one of the top dining plans in the nation either.

  • What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Get out there and do as many things at Virginia Tech as you can. There are so many great clubs and organizations to join within and outside of engineering (check out the Mini-Gobbler Fest tab on this website). This a time to find what you’re interested in or what you’re passionate about, along with meeting lifelong friends.

  • What is your experience working in a male-dominated field?

Through internships I personally worked alongside a lot of male engineers. It is important to be confident and to speak up when you have ideas or suggestions. It is also helps to have the support of other female engineers through organizations such as SWE (Society of Women Engineers).

  • How do you spend your free time?

I really enjoy staying active and spending as much time outside as possible. I have done this through intramural sports or doing one of the many hikes near Blacksburg. Virginia Tech also hosts many awesome events throughout the year like concerts in Burruss Hall, Relay for Life, and Big Event.

  • Any advice for managing the workload?

One of the great things about being part of the Hypatia Living Learning Community is the support that you are surrounded by outside of the classroom. Hypatia has academic hours for several of the freshman engineering classes where you can get help from upperclassmen in the community.  I definitely recommend setting a schedule for yourself early on so that you can hold yourself accountable. Just because you may not be in class doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be working on homework. Google calendar and other programs like it are a great tool to help manage your time and stay organized. You’ll be surprised how much free time you can find if you stick to a study plan!

  • What are some study abroad, undergraduate research, and internship/co-op opportunities at Virginia Tech?

The Rising Sophomore Abroad Program (RSAP) at Virginia Tech gives engineering students the opportunity to go on a two-week study abroad trip. I participated in RSAP and travelled to Italy, Switzerland, and Germany where I visited local engineering firms and experienced many different international cultures. Learn more about the program and different trip options here: 

Unfortunately RSAP was canceled in 2020 and 2021 but we are hopeful the program will be available next year. 

There are so many labs across campus that would be happy to have students who are passionate about the research help out. I have loved performing hands-on testing at the Helmet Lab as a part-time undergraduate research assistant for the past two years. It is so rewarding to be part of a research group that works to make a difference in many peoples’ lives. If you find a lab that you are interested in, don’t be afraid to reach out when you get to campus!

An internship is a summer paid work experience, while a co-op is when you take off a semester of college to work 40 hours a week in an engineering position. Virginia Tech has the largest student-run career fair in the nation called the Engineering Expo, which brings 300+ companies to campus that are specifically looking to hire VT engineering students for internship, co-op, and full-time positions. It is typical for an engineering student to gain either an internship or co-op experience before graduating.

  • What is your favorite thing about Virginia Tech?

My favorite thing about Virginia Tech is being part of the Hokie community. You can see it everyday on campus from organizations fundraising for non-profits, to having 60,000 Hokie fans pack Lane Stadium for a football game. You’ll make lifelong friendships at Virginia Tech and no matter where you go after graduation, you’ll have Hokie Nation supporting you.

  • Why did you choose to join the Hypatia community?

I joined the Hypatia community because you get a lot of support out of the classroom socially and professionally. Everyone in the community is assigned a mentor who basically acts as an older sister showing you the ropes around campus for the first 10 weeks of the semester. Your mentoring group also includes several other freshman girls which is a great place to make connections and friends. Also, Hoge Hall has a studio maker space where you can work on personal or academic projects and learn to use a laser cutter and 3D printer. Learn more about the studio space on the Studios 1 & 2 tab of this website. Finally, you get to live in the same hall as hundreds of other first year engineering students, so everyone is in the same boat.

  • How do I know which classes to take in the fall?


When you attend orientation, you will register for your fall courses. The College of Engineering provides check sheets for each engineering major, detailing which courses must be taken to satisfy degree requirements and guidelines on when to take them. You can find the check sheets of majors you are interested by clicking the box below.