Elsa Sanchez, Electrical Engineering

What is your role?

I assist with enrollment, registration, degree requirements as well as graduate research assistants' offer letters. I also help organize and conduct information sessions for prospective and admitted students. I am responsible for coordinating and providing administrative support for the PhD Monitoring Committee and am the primary contact for all our graduate students from our Department, which has more than 20 faculty and labs.

I ensure their registration, program duration, degree clearances, and dissertation are completed. During the PhD admission process, I collaborate with the PhD Faculty Admissions Committee and Graduate Admissions, and I serve as the point of contact for students. I process and track all admissions decisions with our Senior Student Affairs Manager.

I provide reporting and analysis on enrollment, registration, and course data; student records; and degree clearances. In general, I support the academic and personal development of our students.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment at Columbia?

Every year during graduation, I love to see the happiness of my beloved students, to see their faces glowing, and to see their families sharing this treasured moment.

But most of all, I am proud of the work I have done to make sure that every student feels welcome and feels that the Electrical Engineering Department is their home away from home.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career here?

Learn as much as possible about Columbia history and tradition, and treat everybody with respect. Most importantly, learn to love your role.

I was blessed with my first supervisor here who was an inspiration to me, who believed in me, and who inspired me to challenge myself. Through that, I learned that with effort and dedication, dreams can become the most beautiful reality in our lives.