Alumni Strike: Heather Molina Macfie

BY REMI SCHWARTZ

PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER

Alumna Heather Molina Macfie graduated from the Bay in 2004 and achieved her goal of becoming an engineer for Tesla cars. After graduating, Macfie took her education to Georgia Institute of Technology (GT) where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Business Management.

“Being an engineer is thrilling,” Macfie said. “I was able to be a part of [engineering] competitions in college and now I am one of the creators of things at Tesla. I was always passionate about math and knew that doing something I love was the right fit that led me to engineering.”

According to Macfie, engineering competitions were exciting because they allowed her to showcase her passion. In college, she was involved in a competition called Formula SAE, where collegiate teams design and build small race cars.

“Competition was always exciting and extremely interesting when it came down to working on cars,” Macfie said.

Once the competition ended, Macfie met with someone who worked at an oilfield services company called Schlumberger. As a result, this person connected Macfie with the recruiters of the company, and she got a job as a Wireline Field Engineer in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“With this opportunity, I saw firsthand what engineers did,” Macfie said. “I saw how much effort is put into something and what it takes to make something incredible.”

After college, Macfie went on to work for Tesla. She said she loves the challenges the company creates for the team of making something impossible become possible.

“Tesla culture doesn’t allow for the notion of ‘impossible,’” Macfie said. “This creates an interesting work environment because once ‘impossible’ is eliminated as an option, everyone is forced to consider how to make seemingly-impossible things happen.”

Macife said her experiences at the Bay helped her get to where she is today. She said the lessons she learned with Mu Alpha Theta (MAO), which was under the direction of Vice Principal Marianela Estripeaut, was the start of finding her career of becoming an engineer.

“I loved math and [Estripeaut] made it fun and challenging,” Macfie said. “ When it came time to start considering colleges and majors, Mrs. Estripeaut encouraged me to consider engineering as a career path.”

Macfie said she got a better understanding of using math in the real world in Estripeaut’s math class.

“My teachers did an incredible job of setting the bar for our education really high without us realizing,” Macfie said. “As a result, I went to college with a much stronger foundation than my peers.”

Estripeaut said she asked Macfie to join MAO because she saw something special in her. She said Macfie added the spunk, knowledge and friendship that MAO needed.

“[Macife] was the only girl [on the competitive team] and she became the glue that held everyone together,” Estripeaut said.

Estripeaut said Macife was always giving her all in class and in math club, where she challenged herself in whatever came her way.

“[Macfie] was a brilliant mind from the second she walked in my math class,” Estripeaut said. “I knew that she was special and that she would excel at life.”

During the 2003 school year, Estripeaut said she and her husband took the team to a competition and that is where career choices became a discussion for Macfie.

“We all wanted to know what  [Macife]  was going to do, and my husband, who is a Georgia Tech alumni, told her to consider the school as well as a career in math, such as engineering,” Estripeaut said.

After Macfie applied to GT, Estripeaut said she knew she was going to go on and be successful with whatever she did.

“Seeing that [Macife] works for Tesla, I couldn’t be more proud of that girl,” Estripeaut said. “I was proud of her from the first day and I will be proud of her forever.”

 

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