Jennifer Finkbeiner was born near Chicago, but was raised in Boise and considers herself a true Idaho native. The 20-year-old junior stays busy managing a mechanical engineering major, a biomedical engineering minor, the Boise State mechanical engineering club, and a fiancé!
Jen seemed destined for a technical field early on. She started college at Idaho State University in the Nuclear Engineering program, but discovered she had a different dream and came to Boise State to join the biomedical engineering minor program.
Jen’s ultimate goal is to pursue a career in biomedical research. She’s intrigued by cellular mechanics, especially the concepts of neuro-engineering and brain research. She’d like to attend graduate school at University of Utah or University of Michigan and eventually get her PhD.
As busy as she is, Jen still joined the Mechanical Engineering club and is serving as president this year. You can see the excitement in her eyes when she speaks about the club. She says she joined to get involved, to get to know students and faculty better, but feels it has been a way to get good experience and to help her do better in her classes.
Jen has great aspirations for the club and saw stepping into the president’s role as an opportunity. She envisions the Mechanical Engineering club as a resource, an umbrella under which students can pursue projects and experiences to enhance their learning. The club plans to provide tours of industry sites, workshops, professional networking opportunities, and a chance to hear speakers and gain exposure to things you just don’t get in classes. More than anything, she wants the club to support members finding their passions. “There’s so much they can do,” she said, “and these projects can nurture them.”
Growing up in Idaho, Jen embraces a love of outdoors and activity. She’s a skier, enjoys long-boarding, and confesses to a love of hockey – but only as a spectator. She also loves to travel, remembering a wonderful trip to Overton, England to stay with family friends for 2 ½ weeks. She would eventually like to go to Switzerland or New Zealand to enjoy the rugged mountainous country. She confesses to a passing affection for her fiancé, but is absolutely enamored of his lovable older Toy Chihuahua named “Poochie”.
Though an animal lover, Jen shyly confesses to a fear of birds, especially hawks. While out hunting with her fiancé, hawks began to circle, and she admits to “freaking out.” Her fiancé laughed, and she laughs now, too. “I can laugh at my own fears.”
When asked about what she has learned in her engineering studies, she confesses, “I think of everything differently now. The world is different. Just driving a car, I think about the forces involved in turning a corner. Just lots of wonder.” She says her closest friends are in the engineering program, calling them “the coolest people” she knows. But she also acknowledges, “It’s hard. You’ll cry a lot.”
Jen knows she has a lot on her plate, but she also acknowledges she has gained so much. “I’ve learned how much I am capable of accomplishing,” she says. “Challenges can be very fun. They don’t have to stress or worry you.”