Joshua Fleurentin headshot

Global Challenge: Urban and Sustainability

A global leader is someone who can posses the qualities of a leader such as charisma, intelligence, and strength but in a global scenario. Rather than just understanding those in their group, a global leader can understand and apply their abilities to those outside of their average scope.


An Interview with My Brother's Keeper @ Tandon

What inspired you to pursue a STEM-based degree? How did you discover your interest in the field?

What inspired me to pursue a STEM-based degree was that I wanted to pursue my passions while making a difference in the world. I discovered my interest in the field when I was younger, since I had always enjoyed building and reconstructing Legos.


Who within STEM serves as an inspiration for you?

Individuals in STEM that inspire me are Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nikola Tesla, Alejandro Melchor, and Hermanie Pierre.


How would you describe your experiences as a Black and/or Latino student at the School of Engineering?

I would describe my experience as challenging yet rewarding. The courses here in Tandon are all challenging in their own way, but by constantly pushing forward, my effort allows me to feel accomplished. 


What courses were challenging for you? How did those courses better prepare you for what’s ahead? 

Courses that were challenging for me were Calculus and Intro to Engineering and Design. These courses serve as the stepping stones for my future courses. For these types of classes, group work and being able to recover after messing make classes in the future more manageable. 


What are your research/professional career goals?

After I graduate, I plan to work as a Construction Manager/Project Manager and try to obtain my PE. Once this is accomplished, my goal is to work for an engineering company.


As an underrepresented minority student, is there something that you recognize more now that you didn’t think of before attending Tandon?

I recognize just how underrepresented I am and the importance of having minorities in STEM fields. It is essential to have a sense of community for the next generation of engineers, especially if a field of interest does not represent them.


How important is it for incoming minority students to utilize their resources (i.e. professors, counselors, advisors, tutors, etc.)?

It is imperative that incoming minority students utilize their resources. Engineering schools are difficult enough as is, and this only adds to the demands and expectations of us and those around us. It is common to feel overwhelmed, so to be able to talk to others that understand you and build connections will be beneficial to you and lighten your load.


What advice would you offer to Black and Latino men who are interested in the STEM field?

I would advise Black and Latino men who are interested in STEM to join groups and clubs where they feel represented and welcomed from the start. Not only is it a great way to gain a sense of community, but it could also introduce you to many new opportunities. Another piece of advice would be to always be confident in yourself, you’re here for a reason and you shouldn’t get discouraged from failure or what others tell you.