Featured Scholarship Recipient

 Jessica Qian ’18, Biomedical Engineering
Brenda A. and Robert M. Aiken Scholarship Fund


 What made you decide to major in engineering?

“I come from a family that has a history of being doctors or have done work in the medical field so naturally it seemed that medical school would be in my future. My mother works in pharmaceuticals, and we have close family friends that are radiologists, so I had a lot of exposure growing up to medical technologies, how they worked and what benefits they provided to the patients. However, I noticed that while doctors are on the front lines treating these patients, it is their job is to use the technology that has already been developed — they didn’t create them. Perhaps I get it from my dad who is a computer engineer, but I was more interested in problem solving and understanding how medical devices worked rather than treating patients on a day-to-day basis. From there, I decided to come to Case to study biomedical and mechanical to get a firm engineering foundation and learn about the industry that I hope to shape in the future. Technology drives society, and I do believe that engineers have the power to shape new technologies to build a better world.”


You received a Junior-Senior Scholarship this year; how did you feel going through the scholarship interviewing process?

 “I really enjoyed the opportunity to interview with the alumni because it was a chance to show them how the Case community has evolved since their time here. To be honest, I was on the fence about whether or not I should apply for this scholarship when I first was notified of applications. I usually associate scholarships directly with financial need, and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be considered since my family didn’t “technically” qualify for financial need. However, after going through the process, I realized that the CAA wasn’t looking for candidates based strictly on need; they were looking to reward students on their contribution to the Case community. I enjoyed the whole scholarship interviewing process because it gave me a chance to articulate some of my proudest accomplishments at Case to people who were genuinely interested to hear about them.”


 How did receiving the scholarship change your experience at Case?

 “While my family doesn’t qualify for financial aid, it doesn’t mean that the cost of college isn’t a financial burden on my parents. Receiving this scholarship has definitely lightened the load on my family so that they can relocate the extra money they saved into helping my grandparents or starting a college fund for my sister. Additionally, I have done my best to do well in school and be a contributing member of the Case community, so receiving the Junior-Senior Scholarship was validation of all my efforts over these past two years. My family has always been supportive of my decisions and have given me invaluable advice growing up, so I would like to do anything that I can to show my appreciation of their efforts. By lifting part of that burden, I have been able to focus more on my studies and future career to give back to them as well as the Case community.”


What are your career plans after graduation?

 “My career plans for after graduation have been a moving target since the beginning. When I started at Case, I thought I wanted to be a doctor but decided early on that medical school was not for me. After that I debated other career paths such as continuing on to graduate school for a master’s degree or going directly into industry as a development engineer. Based on the experiences I have had so far from my courses, extracurricular activities and internships, my current plans are to graduate and work in an engineering management or consulting role for several years before returning to school for my MBA. While these plans are still subject to change, the opportunities and resources I have received from Case have allowed me to explore all my possible options before I ultimately make a decision.”