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Drivers of Innovation: Engineer Believes Mutual Help is Key

To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Ana Carolina Da Rosa discusses how encouragement can lead Hispanic students and women to STEM careers.

Headshot of Ana Carolina Da Rosa

September 23, 2021

Ana Carolina Da Rosa is currently a project engineer with Appliances, HVAC/R and Lighting (AHL) at UL’s Sao Paulo, Brazil facility. She graduated from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) with her bachelor’s of science in materials engineering. Carolina started her career at UL in 2019 as a full project analyst for the lighting team.

How did you decide to pursue a career in engineering?

I always did well in math and science — physics, biology and chemistry — when I was in school. I wasn’t initially sure what I wanted to do after school, but I knew I wanted to do something with numbers. With that in mind, I searched for jobs and became interested in materials engineering. I decided to take a chance on this path, and I loved it.

How did you come to join UL?

I studied at college for six years  — five years at UFSC and one year in an exchange program in the Netherlands. I found UL in Sao Paulo when I graduated. It was a big move for me, as I’d been living with my parents and younger brother in Florianópolis. It was a significant change to be on my own and in a big city, but I love and am very happy living in Sao Paulo.

What do you like about your job and working at UL?

I started my current position as a project engineer in August 2021. I’m helping evaluate the electric safety of appliances so they can receive INMETRO Certification. I have the opportunity to learn something new every day, whether it's a new product, different certification, a new process or even a new city or customer. UL has a wide range of projects and certification programs. Working at UL means I learn something new every day, and it also helps me gain a lot of experience.

What are you proud of about your Brazilian heritage?

Being Brazilian is an opportunity to experience a lot of diversity. Brazil is a big country with a lot of diversity within itself. There’s an overall sense of closeness and togetherness — it’s a society that seeks collectivity and mutual help.

Brazil is also a very joyful place — the music and culture are joyful. People tend to see the good in situations. I’m proud to be part of a big country and to celebrate the various cultures within it.

What traditions do you particularly enjoy?

I love Carnival, an annual festival in Brazil that is a celebration of life. It’s a time of the year when everybody is happy and dancing in the street — a week full of joy. I love the sentimental spirit that Carnival brings to Brazil.

I also love the music here. Brazilian music is very upbeat, like bossa nova and samba, for instance, People love to dance to it. Parties have a lot of energy and excitement.

How can we encourage more Hispanic students and young women to pursue STEM careers?

I have always been curious why there are typically more men in engineering and whatnot. I do think we need more women and Hispanic and Latino people into STEM studies and careers because we can do the same work as men do. We need to create strong links by supporting each other — this will change the “system” that has been in place for a long time.

Women need to encourage other women to believe that they can do the same things as men. We need to reach out to students and women to encourage them — to discuss their fears around math, science and engineering, what interests them and what opportunities are available to them. For example, I managed the materials engineering area in college and was on the Electric Vehicle Building Team. I intentionally invited more young women to work with me to show my work and try to give them as much support as needed.

It is essential to support each other because Hispanic people and women can do the work required for STEM careers.