Degree Program: Robotics Engineering, B.S.
Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Hometown: Palm Desert, CA
This is one of five profiles spotlighting current and former transfer students as part of Baskin Engineering’s celebration of National Transfer Week, October 17–21, 2022.
Ashwin Chakraborty is a fourth-year robotics engineering student at the Baskin School of Engineering. He transferred to UC Santa Cruz from College of the Desert, located in Palm Desert, CA.
What has your transfer student experience been like?
I transferred during the pandemic, which was a really tough time for a lot of people, including me. But the wonderful people at the Baskin Engineering Advising Office and at STARS have really helped me make the transition. Stepping onto this campus for the first time was like stepping into a Disney movie; I fell in love with it immediately. The transition from a semester system to a quarter system was pretty hard, but I made good friends and managed to get through it all.
What made you decide to be a part of Baskin Engineering?
I was always interested in getting a STEM degree, but was unsure of what exactly to pursue. I jumped around from interest to interest for a while before finally settling on prosthetics. While I was looking around at different universities and their different majors, the robotics engineering program here at UCSC really stood out to me. I have been part of several robotics clubs from a very young age, and reading about the robotics engineering curriculum reignited my interest in robotics. After graduation, I plan to do a master’s program in robotics that focuses on prosthetics.
What do you like best about being an engineering major?
My favorite part of being an engineering student is the projects. Being given a problem and being able to approach it in any way that I see fit is incredibly freeing and fun. ECE 118: Introduction to Mechatronics was the best class I have ever taken. Building a full robot from scratch and having almost total freedom on its design is a memory that will last my entire life. Working on these projects also brought me closer with other like-minded people, and I’ve made a ton of friends through my classes.
What advice would you give to other transfer students who are interested in joining Baskin Engineering?
Be prepared to work hard. You only get out what you put in. But don’t let yourself be consumed by your work—maintaining a balance is everything. Take a break every once in a while, walk around this beautiful campus, hang out with some friends, and make some memories!
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