UMSL engineering student Deborah Medintz poses in Quito, Ecuador, where she spent a month interning at a wire manufacturing company. (Photo courtesy of Deborah Medintz)

Going abroad. Graduating from college. Starting a new job. Getting married. Those are all huge milestones in peoples’ lives. University of Missouri–St. Louis student Deborah Medintz, is doing all of them within months of each other.

Medintz earned her bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering May 18 from the UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program. On June 20 she will start at Boeing as a design engineer.

“I am excited,” she said of her new job.

It seems only fitting that Medintz secured a position at Boeing. She’s no stranger to the aerospace corporation. In the summer of 2012 she interned with Boeing through their FLITE (Future Leaders in Thought and Experience) internship program. In fall 2012 she was mentored by a Boeing electrophysicist through the Regional Business Council Mentorship Program. She applied and was accepted to Boeing’s summer engineering internship program during the summer of 2013, where she worked with a team doing testing on the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

“I really learned a lot, but the best part was working with and learning from the Boeing engineers and, of course, getting a job!” she said. “I am thankful for my time and education with both the UMSL engineering program and the Pierre Laclede Honors College because these programs are why I am able to graduate college with a job opportunity upon graduation.”

This past December, during UMSL’s winter intersession, Medintz spent a month in Quito, Ecuador, interning at Fabri-Cables, S.A., a wire manufacturing company. But her motivation wasn’t all work. It was also personal. She’s from Quito, and her mother’s family still lives there.

“The owners are family friends, and I inquired last summer about the intern opportunity. I was ecstatic when I heard I could go and get practice with design and electrical maintenance,” she said. “The one caveat was that I had to speak Spanish with the engineers because they are not fluent in English. I knew this would be challenging since I am more conversational than fluent even though it’s my mom’s native language.”

Medintz earned academic credit toward her Honors College Certificate for her internship in Ecuador.

Medintz transferred to UMSL from West Point, where she got sick her junior year and had to leave, missing an entire school year. When she decided to finish her degree she was at a loss.

“I didn’t know what school or how I would really finish my degree because I found out that a lot of the classes I took at West Point weren’t transferable to other universities,” she said. “I am very fortunate to have met Susan Feigenbaum, a professor of economics at UMSL, during this time of decision because she is really why I was able to graduate. She saw potential in me and talked me into visiting the engineering department at UMSL.”

Medintz said she received a number of scholarships that enabled her to complete her studies without worrying about affording necessities like books, and she hopes to someday return the favor.

“I appreciate this help, and hope that I can give back to my UMSL community in the future,” she said.

Medintz is a member of the Tau Sigma Transfer National Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International Honour Society.

Medintz will be getting married this summer, on Aug. 17.

The UMSL Experience

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez