Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.
While studying at Arizona State University, Socorro Chaidez Ramos learned she is always up for a challenge.
When she arrived at ASU, Chaidez Ramos struggled to find a major. In high school she was passionate about environmentalism and entrepenuriship, but couldn’t zero in on a career path in college — until she discovered the technological entrepreneurship and management degree program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
The technological entrepreneurship and management program bridges the gap between business and engineering and is designed for students who are interested in technology-based businesses, nonprofit work and solving social and corporate problems.
Chaidez Ramos says the Doran Community Scholars Program helped her succeed at ASU. Through the program, she found a community and learned skills that helped her grow in her academic career.
Q: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?
A: It took a while. In high school I was passionate about environmentalism. I also noticed that I really enjoyed social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship that has the purpose of benefiting the community, not just one that is profitable. When I first started at ASU, I switched my major a few times, because I was trying to find the right major that best fit the career that I wanted to have. During my sophomore year I switched my major to civil engineering, with a focus on environmental civil engineering. I wanted to stick to that. My scholarships only covered four years, and I soon learned that it was going to be really difficult to manage my studies, working part-time and living off campus. I decided to switch to technological entrepreneurship in order to graduate within four years, and figured that if I want to go back to school for civil engineering later, I could. I don’t feel like I quit, I just moved my plan around.
Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?
A: I learned a lot of important things that I would have never thought of. There are many layers to business, and how we conduct it and how we behave with social media and how everyone responds to news. I realized how truly connected everything is.
Q: Why did you choose ASU?
A: The main reason I chose ASU was the financial aid they rewarded me. I knew that if I wanted to go to a university I would have to pay for it myself. ASU gave me the best financial aid package out of all five schools I applied to. I got the New American University Scholarship as well.
Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?
A: Aram Chomina-Chavez, a professor in the technological entrepreneurship and management program. We call him Señior Chavez. He incorporated current events into his lectures, which gave us a better understanding of how to actually use the concepts that he taught us. The way he teaches his classes is totally different from any class I have ever taken. He would teach us a concept, then as a class we would discuss it in a way that allowed everyone to express their opinion and understanding. It showed how each student was using the concepts from class. Everyone has different views, some that I might not agree with, but it allowed me to understand where they are coming from.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?
A: Pursue what you're passionate about. Sometimes you do fail courses, or fail in ways that may seem like a sign that you shouldn’t be doing something. Or, it may seem like you're just not good at something — but I would say that maybe it isn't your niche. Some failures make it feel like you can't do what you’ve been planning on doing. Just learn from it and try harder.
Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?
A: During my long days on campus I would always go to the Social Sciences Building, the one that has all the plants inside. I would eat lunch or do my homework there. It let me feel like I was still interacting with the world.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: Hopefully get a full time job, with everything going on right now it makes it iffy. I’ve been thinking about going to grad school. I want to refresh my memory by taking some classes at a community college and eventually pursue civil engineering.
Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?
A: I would work on making renewable energy accessible for middle and lower class families. Urban communities have the largest population and they may not be able to have solar panels installed, because it costs so much money and there are many regulations in Arizona. If we have this tool that saves people so much money, we might as well have it available for those who would benefit the most.
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