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Black History Month Q&A Spotlight Series: Shunae MickleFebruary 10, 2021

Getting involved is how McMaster Engineering student, Shunae Mickle is growing personally and professionally.

In her Q&A spotlight in celebration of Black History Month, the Automation Engineering Technology student shares why participating in clubs, teams and events is important, her co-op experience at Linamar, why a diverse environment is integral to her success and much more.

Shunae will be taking over the McMaster Engineering Instagram account this Thursday to share her Mac Eng experience. Make sure to tune in!

Q: What does Black History Month mean to you?

A: Black History month is a time to reflect on the sacrifices Black people have made during movements that create opportunities for me to dream as big as I can today. Also, it’s a time to embrace and be proud of our who we are. I enjoy going through different sources of social media and seeing the overwhelming support for our natural hair and seeing tips and trick to keep it healthy and strong.

Q: Who is your role model?

A: My role model is Michelle Obama because I can learn so much from her as a Black female. She exemplifies all I want to be as a grown woman; so graceful, confident and educated. Listening to the things she has overcome to be in position she is in always motivates me. 

Q: Why did you choose Mac Eng?

A: The community was very inclusive. My high school was invited to campus a few times, so I got to become familiar with the environment. Feeling welcomed is something I considered in addition to how good the program is.

At Mac I can see that diversity is very important. I want to learn in a place that wants me to succeed.

Q: What is your experience like so far?

A: Being at Mac these past few years have been exciting. I have been trying to take advantage of all the resources available to me. I participated in a big networking event that NSBE holds in February called The Hunt, a huge career fair held by McMaster ECSS and all the clubs and activities that are available.

Q: What do you think about some of the new EDI initiatives coming out of McMaster including the new IBET Fellowship and the NSBE Scholarship?

A: The EDI initiatives are very encouraging to new marginalized students who want to continue their education. It gives students financial relief but it also showcases the university’s drive for a diverse student body.

This display of support will encourage more students of colour to engage with universities and discover the options available to them.

Q: Tell us about your co-op.

A: My co-op is in Guelph at a company called Linamar, a parts manufacturer company. I am a Quality Assurance co-op student. My responsibilities involve auditing car parts, doing contamination testing, testing the hardness of certain parts, and performing surface testing on a variety of parts.

The days can get very busy and I am on my feet most of the time, but I am learning a lot from my time here.

On top of the technical aspect of the job, the people I work with are very welcoming and patient, as they bring me up to speed on the things I need to learn. I am looking forward to the rest of my time at Linamar.

Q: Any advice for Mac Eng students?

A: My advice for any Mac Eng student, current or future, is to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities available here at Mac. This is the time for you to start building yourself personally and professionally and the best way to do it is to involve yourself as much as you can in campus life. It can be clubs or it can be outreach programs. These opportunities allow you to meet new and interesting people and create wonderful experiences with. Go for it!