Briana Natalie Brown’s desire to be an engineer began to percolate in high school, but it was a ride on the Six Flags theme park’s Bizzaro Roller Coaster during her junior year that really made her dream take flight.
“I decided I wanted to design roller coasters and, through research, discovered it takes a variety of people with various engineering degrees to design and build roller coasters,” she explained in her 2013 application for the Construction Advancement Institute Scholarship Program (CAI). “Consequently I chose mechanical engineering.”
Her sights are now set even higher, she explained, in her work at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT, where she is a manufacturing operations supervisor.
Briana’s journey to engineering included an internship at Sikorsky following her freshman year at Stony Brook University. There she served as an INROADS Scholar intern—a national community organization in which she assisted in recruiting talented and under-served students for work in the business sector, preparing them for corporate and community leadership.
Opportunity and new experience led her to a concentration of study in Technological Systems Management. With a double major in this field, specializing in mechanical engineering and applied math and statistics, she found new job opportunities following her graduation with a BS degree in 2014.
Now employed full-time at Sikorsky, she exemplifies the philanthropic mantra of “learn, earn, return” at a very young age. She recently founded the BNB Foundation, a nonprofit organization that uses donor dollars to enable and encourage students to achieve their educational goals through scholarship and professional guidance (www.bnbscholars.org). Through the BNB Foundation, young minds learn leadership skills to better follow their desired career path. It is the goal of the enterprise that these students will one day also give back by returning to teach and volunteer time and resources to the next generation.