Ines El Glaoui is pursuing her Master’s in mechanical engineering, but before coming to GTL, Ines completed her Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering in Morocco at one of GTL’s partner institutions, the Université Internationale de Rabat. What I find interesting about her story is that she did not always want to become an engineer! In fact, her journey to where she is now is not that of a typical engineering student’s. Before deciding to major in AE for her bachelor’s degree, she studied computer science for three years as an undergraduate at a school in France. What made her decide to make the switch more than halfway through school? Ines was not able to successfully completed her third year as a computer science major, and she realized that computer science was not her passion to begin with. When asked why she switched to AE, she said that it just stuck with her and that she has liked it ever since.

While being at GTL for the past two years, she has traveled, researched, and gained a better understanding and taste of American culture. Something many American GTL students have been able to experience is French culture from interacting with graduate students and living in France. However, did we ever stop to think about the reverse of this experience? Of the locals of Metz, France and international students being able to get a small taste of American culture? I certainly did not think this way, and it was shocking to hear that Ines’ favorite part of GTL is getting a partial American experience. Since being at GTL, she says “Being here and being with American [students], makes me have a different point of view then what I had of the States before.” Ines said that she would not have thought it to be so different, but that it has been good to learn that people from the United States are not the same as the languages, cultures, and the way people from different places think. 

In the near future, Ines plans on continuing her travels throughout Europe as she goes to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. At GTL, she is working on research based on a special acoustics problem studying diffraction in materials. Ines will be graduating in December, and she hopes to work in France, preferably for an aircraft company, to gain as much experience as she can. She believes that her potential is much more in France than Morocco, as she believes that companies in Morocco would not value the international education that she has received from Georgia Tech as much as other places may. Another big reason for Ines deciding to stay in France after graduation is because France has a larger aerospace market; a lot of the industries in Morocco are agricultural and manufacturing. Later on in her career, she says she may move back to Morocco to be closer to family and her home.

Ines is fun, optimistic, and hard-working; when I asked her about her favorite things do in her spare time, she enjoys watching TV shows like Rick and Morty and reading. Some of her biggest pieces of advice for undergraduate students are to not be afraid to fail, to not stress over failing as everything will work out, and to remember that we are still young and have time to accomplish our goals.

Even though Ines’s time is coming to a close at GTL, she is hopeful, calm, and just loving life as she finishes her Master’s and awaits what the future may hold. Ines’ journey to finishing her engineering degrees may have not started out simple, but she is a strong, determined young woman who will continue to accomplish great things. To leave you with Ines’s last words of wisdom, “Don’t worry, be happy!”