Britanya Wright, a fourth-year studying electrical engineering, will represent the class of 2021 as the commencement student speaker at one of two ceremonies to be held at Carter-Finley Stadium. Wright will address her fellow graduates during the Friday, May 14 ceremony — the first in-person graduation event NC State has held in over a year.
During her time at NC State, Wright has been heavily involved with the Goodnight Scholars program and has made a significant impression around campus. After graduating, she plans to pursue her master’s in electrical engineering at NC State.
Wright spoke about how she applied and was accepted to become this year’s commencement speaker.
“At first, I was really hesitant to do it but I went through with writing the speech, and as I was writing it kind of flowed very well,” Wright said.“I was really really nervous… then I got the call that I got the opportunity to do it.”
When it comes to this past year, Wright said that it was very difficult to adapt for many, including graduates. Having to adjust to online classes was particularly difficult, but she tried to make the most of it.
“For me, the biggest thing that I had to adapt to was just online classes in general,” Wright said. “I never... ever did well with online classes at all, so to have to be forced to take them was just a huge adjustment for me, and I think a lot of what I had to do was manage my time.”
Wright, who transferred from Johnston Community College to NC State in 2018, said that being a transfer student helped her since those different experiences have prepared her for her role of commencement speaker.
“As a transfer student specifically, I think the experience that I had before coming to NC State, having to experience a community college setting and then moving in was very different from the majority of students,” Wright said. “For me being a transfer student, I have a new perspective on things, I have been exposed to a lot more things, and I am able to encourage in a different way than a first-year student would be able to encourage coming in.”
According to Wright, the contents of her speech center around the definition of success.
“You create your own definition of success… your success does not have to match someone else’s success,” Wright said. “So however you define success — do it well, do it to make you happy, do it to fulfill your idea of success.”
Wright’s curiosity and desire to help others has helped propel her toward the field of electrical engineering, and eventually, she wants to take her knowledge and talent to the medical field to help those who need it most. She originally wanted to contribute to the medical field but avoid the more grotesque aspects. Eventually, she came to a realization.
“I thought ‘How else can I contribute?’ and that’s with developing the actual machinery, the actual medical devices that are used for implantation or surgery,” Wright said. “All of that stuff just seemed so interesting to me.”
Wright is hopeful for the future. After graduation, she plans to pursue her graduate degree with a focus on robotics, mechatronics, and controls.
“After graduating my master’s degree, my hope is to someday work at a company that creates medical devices or prosthetics,” Wright said.
Overall, Wright had a few main takeaways from her time at NC State.
“College is a time for you to learn a lot, but it is also a time that you should take advantage of in terms of exploring new things,” Wright said. “Don’t overload yourself, but try new things… take advantage of those four years or three years you are at NC State, or at any college.”