Electrical and Computer Engineering

From Marching Illini to Microsoft

Omar Joya’s Engineering Visionary Scholarship made Illinois his first choice.

by Cayla Waters
09.06.17

When choosing a college, cost was the largest factor in Omar Joya’s decision. Thankfully, an Engineering Visionary Scholarship, combined with other support, allowed him to choose ECE ILLINOIS over competing offers.

“Many competitive programs do not carry the collaborative and supportive environment Engineering at Illinois continually tries to foster. For this reason, I could not be happier to attend this institution.” During his freshman year, the caliber and rigor of the coursework was intimidating, but support from faculty, staff, and his peers helped him persevere.

This supportive and collaborative environment is what makes Illinois unique. Omar has been involved with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers during all four years at Illinois. Through this organization, he has met countless mentors and peers who have helped him pave the way for the rest of his career. One of his favorite undergraduate memories traveling to Beijing and Shanghai over the summer with the Hoeft Technology and Management Program.

Omar is also a member of the Marching Illini. Along with his saxophone, he has traveled with the group Dublin, Ireland, for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Omar is grateful for the incredible support of our alumni and donors. “My entire story as an engineering student would not have been possible without the support of donors. A gift goes a long way; it does not just go to a scholarship – it goes to an infinite set of experiences that otherwise would not have been possible.” For this, he is proud to carry the University’s name with him as he strives to make a difference in the world. “I hope that further down the line, I can support future students achieve their goals and dreams, just like someone supported me.”

Following graduation in spring 2018, he heads to Microsoft for an internship in the hardware engineering division. He plans to return to campus in the fall to pursue a graduate degree in electrical engineering.

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