Monika Paliwoda ’15
“Dream big and go for it!”
“When I was in high school, I met a civil engineer working on a high-speed train that would take an hour to get from New York to Washington, D.C. I fell in love with the idea of solving a problem and designing a solution using technology that hadn’t yet been invented.
“Around the same time, I heard about a study done at Walt Disney World. Industrial engineers had given people flyers and then counted the number of steps before people threw the flyers on the ground. That’s where Disney decided to put its trash cans. To me, that was amazing! I decided I wanted to logically solve problems before people even knew they were problems, and I’m now studying how to do that at the University of Michigan.
“Last winter, I had the opportunity to spend a semester as a professional intern with Walt Disney World in its Industrial Engineering department. The experience was magical! There, I was able to revamp the burger-cooking process at a major restaurant and problem-solve at Pandora — the World of Avatar before it opened to the public. Kent Place gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and dream big. The public-speaking experiences I had from Kindergarten through the Upper School prepared me to present to management and to head chefs as a sophomore in college.
“My advice to all the brave and brilliant women out there is: Don’t be afraid to dream big! Be curious, learn all you can, and think outside of the box. Most important, have confidence in yourself!”