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Hello there! My name is Rebecca Vollmann and I am a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I love working on cars, dogs, cooking, baking, watching Netflix or Disney+, exercising, going to the beach, and spending time with friends. I’ve done research with the U.S Navy and worked in gas turbines and energy production with Mitsubishi, as well automotive manufacturing with BMW. I decided to become a part of EXCEL to make friends within the College of Engineering & Computer Sciences who motivate me further in my field. The main takeaways of EXCEL are the professional connections in STEM, paid research, a separate math lab from the general population (with free tutoring), and the overall feeling of preparedness you get from the program. I chose to become a GEMS mentor because I was inspired by my own mentor and I wanted to help newcomers in STEM. I fell in love with it and have four years of experience with mentoring now. I even won an award for my mentoring abilities at UCF. My advice to freshmen is to get involved. I know how overrated that may sound, but I wish I had been told the importance of it earlier on. The further along you get in your degree, the busier you get, especially with internships and senior design projects. Getting an EARLY start in campus involvement is the key to success. As plenty of us in engineering hear all the time: a degree just isn’t enough anymore. You have to get involved!