Leading By Example

To say that Olivia Carrizales ’21 maximized her Bradley experience would be an understatement. The industrial engineering graduate has made a habit of saying yes to every opportunity and listening to her passions along the way. During her four years at Bradley, Carrizales exceeded her academic expectations while taking on part-time jobs, internships and joining multiple student organizations.

As a result of these experiences, she left Bradley with a desire to inspire others in the pursuit of their dreams.  “I want to be the guiding hand for others that I didn’t have,” Carrizales proclaimed, “because it can be intimidating not to see people in your field who look like you, or share a similar background.”

Growing up the oldest of six in a single parent home, Carrizales had many responsibilities at a young age. This often meant she missed out on extracurricular activities throughout high school. Attending Bradley was a new beginning for her, and it provided opportunities to focus on personal development and self-exploration. “I dove right in,” she said. “I wanted to be involved with everything, and make friends everywhere!”

This enthusiasm paid off as Carrizales’ work on an engineering class project caught the attention of Bradley alumnae Elizabeth Castorena ’17, who worked at the automotive supplier Dynamic Manufacturing. Castorena was so impressed with Carrizales that she recommended her for an industrial engineer position with the company.  “It was a great fit,” Carrizales said,” and I am grateful for the experience and support they gave me.”

The search for new career challenges took her to San Diego. Here, the wireless technology leader Qualcomm sought out Carrizales and hired her as a team leader in their engineering development center. Being both hands-on as an engineer and managing the roles of others energizes Carrizales. “I have always felt that if I’m not doing a lot, then I’m not doing enough,” she said.

In her quest to “do more” she also competed in the 2022 Miss California competition representing Sorrento Valley. The competition gave her a platform to encourage young people to pursue their passions as she did. “I never wanted to go into the STEM field because people like me are underrepresented. I did it because I have a passion for it,” she said. 

This message perfectly illustrates Carrizales’ mission to show young professionals how to look past stigmas or perceptions that could hold them back. “I would tell any young person to stop being afraid of failure. Put yourself out there no matter what because that is how you find success again and again!”

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