February 25, 2021

E-Week Spotlight: Haskell’s Cinthya Carrillo Knows Firsthand the Power of Mentoring Young Engineering Prospects

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Editor’s note: Haskell is proud to join its more than 650 design professionals in celebrating Engineers Week. Founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Engineers Week brings together a formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, educational, and cultural societies, as well as more than 50 corporations and government agencies, to ensure a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing awareness of and interest in engineering and technology careers.

Today is Girl Day, a special designation in a weeklong celebration of the engineering profession. But for Cinthya Carrillo, a mechanical engineer in Haskell’s Irvine, California, office, every week is Engineers Week, and every day is Girl Day.

Carrillo was born in Colima, Mexico, and moved as a toddler with her family to the United States. Growing up, her plan was to become a baker until a civil engineer visited her Fresno high school and did a presentation with a small building mockup and a shake table.

That presentation, along with the support of high school teachers and peers, changed her career path. She became one of the first in her family to attend college when she enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she earned a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R).

Realizing how significantly she was influenced by that engineer’s educational outreach, she almost immediately began paying it forward.

“For me, having grown up as a first-generation college student, my family didn’t know much about different career opportunities and colleges,” Carrillo said. “It’s important to give back and help students learn about different career opportunities they might have never thought about the same way others did for me in programs growing up.”

One day during each Engineers Week is designated as Girl Day, marking a worldwide campaign to engage girls in engineering. Key findings from the comprehensive report “Despite the Odds” by DiscoverE, the backbone organization behind E-Week, found that girls are more likely to choose engineering when given the opportunity to do meaningful engineering activities with role models, and they stay involved when they have strong support networks and feel like they are part of a community.

Carrillo had both, and now she’s giving back.

After college, she became involved with the San Jose chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), where she coordinated engineering events for K-12 students, including two Girl Day events per year.

She now volunteers her time with ACE Mentors, a volunteer organization that educates high school students about careers in architecture, construction and engineering. Even though she now lives and works in Southern California, she continues to help virtually with the San Jose group.

“Every Tuesday to this day during the volunteering session, I'm actually still volunteering with the same group,” she said. "It's all remote now. Every week I meet with the kids. We're helping them design a little building.”

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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