BCoE Student Hall of Fame 2023: Natalia Beltrán Díaz

February 27, 2023

Congratulations to the 2023 Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame class!
Over the next few days, we will be highlighting each SHoF recipient.
The new members participated in a Q&A reflecting on their time at Mississippi State.

Natalia Beltrán Díaz

What is your name, age, classification and major?

My name is Natalia Beltrán Díaz I am from Bogota, Colombia. I am a senior Mechanical Engineering student.

What year did you begin studying at MSU and when is your expected graduation date?

I transferred to MSU from East Central Community College in the Fall of 2021, and I will be graduating in December of 2023.

Why did you choose to attend MSU, and why did you choose an engineering field of study?

I chose to attend MSU because it is a very prestigious university, especially when talking about engineering. The mechanical engineering program offered is amazing, and along with the co-op and internship program, I just felt like it was the perfect fit for me. I always knew I wanted to do my undergraduate degree in the United States, but I did not know where. Coming from a community college before attending MSU, I heard a lot of amazing things about the university, and its outstanding engineering department from those who went to ECCC with me. I was also fortunate enough to have professors who were very knowledgeable about MSU and were able to give me guidance about choosing MSU. Furthermore, I was able to receive a substantial number of scholarships, which made it possible for me to be here today. Something I am extremely grateful for.

On the other hand, I chose engineering because ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been very curious about how things work, and what happens beyond what we can actually see with our eyes. This, combined with my passion for mathematics and physics, was what made me choose Mechanical Engineering as my college degree. Best decision ever made.

What are your favorite campus organizations you have become a part of?

I am not part of a lot of organizations, as I would like to be. However, I am a member of the Mechanical Engineering Ambassadors, and I absolutely love it. The ME ambassadors are always there to help with anything, especially when recruiting new prospective students. As ambassadors, we help the department to grow and get better every day. It is very important for me to give back to the department for all that they have done for me. I know it is not exactly the same, but I am always happy to help with anything that needs to be done. All the knowledge and experiences that I have acquired thanks to the engineering department are something that I will always be grateful for.

What has been your favorite course you have taken at MSU and why?

My favorite course I have taken so far has been heat transfer. It is very fascinating for me how this subject explains circumstances that happen day to day. Simple things just as how and why your coffee gets cold every morning can be explained and understood with this course. Moreover, this semester, I am taking energy systems design which I believe could be my next favorite course.

Which course has been your most challenging at MSU and why? What was something you learned about yourself after taking that course.

The most challenging course I have had so far has been engineering mechanics II, also known as dynamics. This course was a combination of physics, calculus and some other basic subjects; however, these were courses that I didn’t review for a long time. Therefore, having to go back to figure things out was very challenging. This course helped me realize that I am capable of achieving anything if I work hard enough. Even though I did not do good on my first test, I worked hard, and I finished with an A in the class.

What is one thing you have learned, related to engineering, during your time in the Bagley College of Engineering?

Something that I learned about engineering is how important teamwork is. In almost all of my classes, there are group projects where we all have to work together. Therefore, it is important to have good communication skills with your group members. In the real world, you will probably never do a big project by yourself. Another thing that I learned is that you have to do a lot of research on your own, not only to learn the material for each class but also when you start working in any industry.

How has MSU and specifically the Bagley College of Engineering prepared you for professional life after college?

The engineering programs at MSU prepare you for your professional life in many different ways. First, there is the Internship and Co-op program, along with the career fair. With this program, we get the opportunity to work with companies either for a few semesters or during the summer, which helps us get hands-on experience before graduating. I will be doing an internship at Entergy this summer. Another way is with the projects you do in every class, especially the senior design project. With these projects, you get to solve real-life problems with what you have learned in class. And with the senior project design project, you get to work on a project for a real company.

What are your plans after graduation?

Now that I left my country, and that I know what it is to live somewhere else, I know that I want to keep traveling and getting to know more cultures and places around the world. Therefore, after I graduate from MSU with my bachelor’s degree, I plan to move to Australia to pursue a master’s degree in renewable and future energy at the University of Western Australia.

What will you miss most about MSU after you graduate?

There are multiple aspects of college life at MSU that I will truly miss once I have graduated. Firstly, I will miss seeing the engineering department, the friends I made there, and all the amazing people who work there every day. Being part of college life and the pride of being a Mississippi State student will truly be missed. There is always such a great atmosphere when walking through campus, whether it is at my own department, or just sitting outside enjoying the drill field. I absolutely love the drill field. Finally, I will miss just being a college student in general. I know right now having these long days where I wake up extremely early, and go to bed really late, may not be the best. But I know once I finish, I will look back at those days, and see how proud I was that I was able to push through mentally and physically.

Natalia Beltrán Díaz

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at www.bagley.msstate.edu and can be found on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

By Emily Cambre