Hello! My name is Shelby Leigh Brown, I am 26 and I am a seat design engineer for Toyota in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I grew up in a two stoplight town called Ocilla, GA. I was a frilly fireball with big dreams. The women in my life gave me inspiration and showed me why it is important to have a backbone with a big heart. In elementary school, I found my love for all things art. In middle school I began learning through unlimited frustrating attempts, some people just aren’t that good at anything sport related. In high school, I found my love for numbers and all things math.
What do you get when you combine the loves from both sides of your brain and make a job out of it? Well, for me…. Engineering.
So that is the path I decided to take. I started out at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA because moving directly to Atlanta from Ocilla sounded way too intimidating at the age of 18. From 2010-2013 I lived the greatest, craziest times of my life. I joined Alpha Delta Pi and found some of my absolute best friends. And I was one of two women in Greek life that was studying engineering.
I transferred to Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA in Fall 2013. This was the most difficult and trying time of my life. School was brutal, and relationships broke my heart more than enough times. Georgia Tech is where I learned time management, self respect, strength, dignity, and coding. Georgia Tech grew me into the woman, the wife, and the engineer I am today. And it was by far the best decision I have ever made.
While at Georgia Tech, I took three internships with Toyota Technical Center in Michigan. My first summer (May 2013), I drove 900 miles north knowing not a single soul and walked into that design center with my head held high and my gut in knots. Little did I know, that summer would be when I met people that would be my life long brothers and sisters. I came back for two more internships after that summer. My last one being Fall 2014 – the one where I met the love of my life and my now husband.
I graduated in 2015 from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a job with Toyota Technical Center in Michigan…. 5 states away from home. And I took it. I took it with much more confidence than I did my internships, but with sadness and a little bit of heartbreak. Leaving my entire family behind and moving across the United States is a little bit emotional at 23 years old.
Since then, I have gotten married to a fellow Georgia Tech grad (whom I met in Michigan) and two months later I got an internal promotion at my job.
And now I am here. Trying to figure out this adult life. Trying to understand my place as a female in a male dominated field. Trying to project my insane passion and emotion into this thing called a blog. So bear with me, because if you are reading this… my guess is you are trying to figure out life too.