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Alumna Story: Ileana C. Barbara, BSIE ’84, MSIE ’87

Current City:      Coral Gables, Florida

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I worked for Burger King Corporation as a junior engineer.

What do you do for a living now? What does a typical work week look like for you?
I am the principal of my own engineering consulting firm. I work with clients in food-service and the government sectors, providing engineering and supply chain solutions.

In what ways did your CoE experience have an impact on your career and who you are today?
The CoE at the University of Miami has played a major factor in my development and career as an engineer. Being a CoE graduate has brought me long-term fulfillment. More than 30 years ago, I was recruited by my first employer, Burger King Corporation, to work as a student intern while I was studying IE at the U. My career there lasted 20+ years. Along the way I received my MS, also from the CoE. Today, I work with many engineering and non-engineering professionals, and I’m very proud to say I graduated from the University of Miami College of Engineering.

Describe your most memorable moment as a student at the College of Engineering (CoE).
My most memorable moment was my undergraduate graduation, when I received my industrial engineering degree, as well as summa cum laude honors. This was the culmination of all my hard work and incredible support from my family.

What motivated you to support the College of Engineering?
As a recipient of the Henry King Stanford Scholarship, I know firsthand how important it is to provide scholastic support to our CoE students. My family and I were first-generation immigrants, and if it wasn’t for this scholarship, I may not have been able to get my degree from the University of Miami. So today I give back to support students who may not be able to afford to attend the U and get an engineering degree!

What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?
My advice is to get involved at the CoE in student organizations to grow your leadership skills and one day be a leader who can give back to the U!

How would you describe the College of Engineering in seven words or less?
Amazing and passionate faculty, students and alumni.         

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