Allie Braun ’16 COE


Four years ago, I visited a campus that’s over 1,200 miles away from my family, and I immediately knew I had found my new home.

I’m from Nebraska, which usually prompts the question, “Nebraska? Why are you here?”

When searching for colleges, I had four main criteria:

  • A university rooted in Catholicism with a strong emphasis on service;
  • A well-respected engineering school where I wasn’t the only girl in the classroom;
  • At least one highly competitive sports team with a united fan base; and
  • A medium-sized university in the Midwest or on the East Coast.

Villanova checked all of these boxes, and so much more.

When I first stepped onto campus my senior year of high school, I was immediately struck by its beauty and warmth. I knew I wanted to come here, but I also knew that it wouldn’t be possible without some financial assistance. Fortunately, I was awarded a scholarship that made it possible to join the Villanova Class of 2016.

As an engineering student, I have enjoyed several opportunities that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. As a junior, I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland—an experience that isn’t possible in many engineering programs, but is encouraged at Villanova. As a sophomore and again as a senior, I co-lead an engineering service trip to Nicaragua, working directly with Water for Waslala—an organization founded by two Villanova engineers to help bring water to rural communities. Our trip involved hiking through the mountainous region to perform feasibility studies on water sources and conduct water purification tests on new and existing systems.

These experiences were not only personally rewarding; they also allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom to new and practical settings. I continued to build these skills last summer, when I had the incredible opportunity to intern with Skanska as a field engineer on the World Trade Center. This was all made possible by connecting with a Villanova alumnus on LinkedIn.

As I look forward to beginning my career, I have not chosen the typical engineering path. I decided to apply my data processing and problem solving skills to the business analytics and consulting industries. Once again, Villanova has been there with support and guidance. Dr. Dinehart, the Civil Engineering Chair, and Mrs. Stover, Executive Director of Professional Development for the Clay Center at VSB have been extremely helpful in discussing my career options and providing me with contacts that align with my newfound path.

I am incredibly grateful for the Villanova community and their donations of time, networking advice and financial support. Without this generosity, I would still be in the Midwest. Villanova would have missed out on me, and I would have missed out on Villanova!

Someday in the near future, I hope to be a proud alumna who gives back so another young adult can experience all the memories, lessons, and people Villanova has to offer.

Scholarships change lives at Villanova. You can be a part of this impact by making a gift to the Annual Fund Scholarship.