Savanna Silva

Savanna Silva

Mechanical Engineer


U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Yuma, AZ USA


Any adversity that you go through is only going to make you a stronger person...No matter what adversity I’ve gone through in life, it’s made me the person I am today.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Savanna Silva

Highlight
Now Playing
00:57
Savanna Silva HighlightInterview Highlight
Now Playing
04:57
InterviewThe Interview
Now Playing
01:19
Make Yourself IndispensableWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
00:56
Small Towns Can Have A Lot To OfferWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:44
Day In The Life Of A Mechanical EngineerWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
00:52
I Love My JobInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
00:58
Adversity Made Me Who I AmInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
01:17
I Wanted A ChallengeInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
01:15
You Are The Designer Of Your Own SuccessInterview Excerpt
See More
Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.
Moved to Yuma, AZ after her father got a job working for the U.S. Border Patrol when she was 13 years old.
With the help of her uncle, she learned how to fly planes—says she knew from that moment that she wanted to pursue a career in engineering.
She graduated high school in the top 10 of her class but didn’t get any scholarships that would enable her to go to a 4-year university.
Attended Arizona Western College (AWC), a community college in Yuma, where she received her associate’s degree in business.
Worked as a data collector at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground but was unfulfilled—decided to go back to pursue her bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Participated in a systems engineering "2-1-1" program where she spent 2 years at AWC doing her general requirements, 1 year taking satellite courses through UA, and 1 year attending UA.
She was the first female to graduate from that program and is now a Mechanical Engineer at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
associates
Associate's Degree
Business/Commerce, General
Arizona Western College
undergrad
Bachelor
Systems Engineering
University of Arizona
certification
Certification/License
Level II Certified in Test & Evaluation
Defense Acquisition University
Career

Career

Mechanical Engineer

I perform ground testing of combat vehicles in the test & evaluation process.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Engineering
Engineering
Numbers
Numbers
Learning / Being Challenged
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

At the beginning of the day, I prepare by coming up with a plan of action based on prior day’s activities. Then I will head out to execute the plan with the platform I am testing. I am generally with the platform all day to facilitate on the spot resolutions and analyze crude data. Towards the end of the day, I return back to my office to document my findings and to do some preparations for the next test day.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

You need to have a willingness to learn and take initiative while being humble enough to accept constructive criticism. This is something that isn’t taught in school, it is a mindset that is needed for success.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Don't let things stop you. There is always a solution to your problems.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

certification
Associate's Degree
Business/Commerce, General
undergrad
Bachelor
Systems Engineering
certification
Certification/License
Level II Certified in Test & Evaluation
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You must not be as smart as the men in your field because you are a woman."

I've had to deal with varying levels of discrimination in my career. In my book, we are all equals with the same capabilities. I had to learn to not hide behind fear and challenge this negativity when I encountered it. To show them that I am equal and capable, I help out and insert myself in all kinds of situations. It's hard to change people's mentalities, but it is possible.

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

I was the first of my family to go to college. My parents knew that getting a degree was going to set me up for the future and they were right. Any time I felt that I couldn’t do it, they were there to be my sounding board and moral support.

Financial
Financial

When I graduated high school, I didn't get enough scholarships to attend a 4-year, so I went to community college. To get my bachelor's degree, I was paying for my classes out of pocket and through student loans.