Hamdi Ahmed, the son of Ethiopian immigrants, grew up in South Los Angeles facing many challenges. To surmount these, he took the early exit exam from high school and headed to Santa Monica College. His level of maturity and determination to succeed both academically and professionally were remarkable because, at the time, Hamdi was 16 years old.
“I started out in film, but I really like problem solving,” he said of his eventual choice to major in mechanical engineering. “At a young age, my interest in the engineering field was sparked by my fascination with the combustion engine. And as time progressed, I began to recognize that I think like an engineer.”
His chemistry instructor suggested Hamdi get involved with SMC’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program. “I chose SMC because of its good reputation,” said Hamdi, “but the STEM program completely changed my life.”
In addition to excelling academically, Hamdi was an active member of the SMC DIY Engineering Club. He also has been a volunteer tutor and mentor in his community, and serves on the Board of the Ethiopian Muslim Youth Community Organization.
Hamdi hopes one day “to work for Tesla” or another innovative automotive design company. He plans to transfer to a university this fall and earn “a Master of Business Administration,” he said, “because I’m also interested in working on the business components of the Engineering Industry.”
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