For empowered female Systems Engineer Caroline Abramson, no star is out of reach

Whether she’s playing a sport, learning programming, or interning at one of the top engineering companies, Caroline Abramson knows the keys to success and empowerment involve effective time-management and solid goal-setting practices.

Abramson finds empowerment through both her academic and professional endeavors: she will graduate from George Mason University in just five years with an Accelerated Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering, and several job offers. A local student who grew up in Loudoun County, Abramson chose Mason due to its close proximity to D.C., and access to career opportunities.  

Though she is an accelerated student now, Abramson’s initial experience at Mason had some challenges.

“Programming was a subject that I had great difficulty with, I would attribute that to limited exposure prior to university,” she said.

As a result, she advises future students to explore programming in high school to avoid being overwhelmed by the steep learning curve. Abramson said the support from her parents, who were very encouraging and motivating, as well as her professor-mentors, Peggy Brouse and Kathryn Laskey helped her along the way.

Brouse introduced Abramson to the SEOR program, and Laskey encouraged her growing leadership involvement in International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), which resulted in her position as president for the last several years. INCOSE opened many doors and connections for Abramson through its extensive networking events, tours, and workshops, landing her an excellent internship placement with MITRE.

Currently, she interns at MITRE (a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government) and plans to continue with aviation research in the future.  

“My focus is in the aviation domain,” said Abramson, “and I hope to continue my research and finding opportunities related to this field post-graduation.”  

One day, Abramson is perhaps interested in venturing into academia, but first, she wants to acquire enough professional experience to hone her engineering skills.  

“I plan to leverage my Systems Engineering background to stretch beyond the classroom and find fulfillment; it is a very versatile field and I am eager to see where Systems Engineering will take me,” Abramson said of her career path.

When asked about her recipe for success she said, “I would encourage students to develop strong study habits, work hard, be persistent, take leadership roles, network, and stay connected to people. Remember the end goal, find a way to get there, and push yourself. Anything is possible.”