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Brianna Soto ’24: ‘I Have Learned So Many Real-life Skills from the College of Education’

Briana Soto in graduation regalia.

When Brianna Soto came to NC State as a freshman, she planned to graduate with a degree in computer science. After one semester, however, she realized that path was not for her and shifted gears toward technology, engineering and design education, where she felt welcomed with open arms.

As she prepares to graduate with her bachelor’s degree, she believes the skills she learned in the NC State College of Education will not only help her succeed in her future career, but has prepared her to understand what others need to succeed in the workplace. 

Meet Brianna: 

Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina 

Major/Area of Study: Technology, Engineering, and Design Education with a concentration in Graphic Communications

Activities (Research or Extracurricular): Goodnight Scholars Program outreach ambassador and communications assistant, university ambassador (2022-23), DELTA instructional technology consultant (2022-23), Alternative Service Break trip leader for ASB Puerto Rico and Peru, NC State University Human Resources Learning and Organizational Development intern, video and broadcasting intern with Bank of America, Student Leadership and Engagement community engagement intern, Spanish and algebra tutor for K-12

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

Originally, I entered NC State with plans to major in computer science, but after my first semester, I realized it wasn’t for me. Through the Corvias Foundation Scholarship, I connected with an NC State alum who majored in technology, engineering, and design education (TDE) and realized that TDE was the right path for me. The College of Education welcomed me with open arms even before I officially switched majors. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

Why did you choose your area of study?

I chose technology, engineering, and design education with a concentration in graphic communications because it blends technology, science, engineering and art to explore communication and design. Even though it’s in the College of Education, the graphic communications concentration opens doors to various fields. The flexibility of the program lets me tailor my courses to suit my interests perfectly.

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?

After graduation, I will be working at Bank of America as an analyst in their Chief Administration Office Program. I am excited to be able to apply the design and communication skills I learned through TDE and my various internships.

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?

I have learned so many real life skills from the College of Education. I am grateful to be a part of the TDE program and have access to professors who really care for you. I was given the guidance to be a leader. Being able to apply what I learned through projects is one of the reasons I really love the program. It prepared me for the senior internship all TDE graphic communications students need to complete. My internship with NC State Learning and Organizational Development has prepared me for what’s to come.

What do you eventually hope to accomplish in your field?

I hope to go into learning and organizational development within the private sector. I’ve learned how important it is for employees to be able to gain new skills in the workplace to become better managers, coworkers and people overall through TDE and my internships.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?

My favorite memory from the College of Education was taking TDE 110: Materials & Processes Technology with Dr. Justin Egresitz ’23PHD. It was the first TDE class I ever took, and it honestly changed my life. This class made me realize that TDE was the right path for me, and I belonged here at NC State. With guidance from Dr. Egresitz, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and make things with my own hands. That experience solidified my passion for “making and doing.”

Why did you choose education?

I chose education because it applies to every single field. Many people believe that those in education simply work in a classroom with K-12 students, but it’s so much more. Every single career needs some sort of training, whether that is through school or on-the-job training. Having a background in education is also extremely helpful when working with other individuals. Communication is a very important skill in any workplace and education prepares you to use it effectively.