Carolyn Baker

Destrehan, LA, US
Field of Work 
Valero Energy Corporation
Job Title or "Student" 
Sr. Environmental Engineer
North Carolina A&T State University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Mechanical Engieering
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
Growing up in New Jersey, my mother was a Teacher and my father was a Civil Engineer. I have older cousins and an Uncle who are Engineers. Just knowing I had family as Engineers made it seem less intimidating. I always knew that I would be an Engineer. I eliminated being a Lawyer because I don't like to read and I eliminated being a Doctor because I don't like blood. Engineering was the best career path for me!

I chose North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) because I always wanted to attend a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). NCA&T has a great reputation for producing successful Engineers. I had Summer Internships every summer. After graduation, I decided to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) because there was a strong relationship between the two schools. Also, I just felt really young to enter the work place for the rest of my life.

I started my full time career at Dupont in their Field Engineering program, which allowed me to rotate to different sites and jobs across every 2-3 years. This allowed me to be exposed to various types of careers within Engineering. I was exposed to the technical track as well as the managerial track.

After 10 years with Dupont, I decided to try another company because my generation seemed to change jobs more frequently than prior generations. I was wondering what I could be missing. So, I left Dupont for Dow Chemicals. After just one year, I was laid off. That experience was very humbling and turned out to be one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I was able to surf the internet onto and find my "dream job".

In December 2007, I started working at Valero Energy Corporation as a Process Safety Manager Engineer. After 3 years in that role, I moved over to the Environmental group as an Environmental Engineer. I have enjoyed the role, my co-workers, and my work environment so far.

Outside of work, I enjoy working out at the gym, jogging, and working as a Mary Kay Consultant. Having my own business allows me to have a great tax break, which is what most single Engineers need. I am also, the Treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers and serve on the Board of Directors for Raintree Children and Family Services. Finally, since Valero encourages volunteerism, I spend time on my weekends joining my co-workers in various volunteer activities.
Working outdoors, Travel, Sports
Race & Ethnicity 
Black or African American
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Field trip participation, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Evenings, Weekends
Funding opportunities
Program Affiliation 
Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

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