Sara Gould

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."

"I keep getting fortune cookies with variations of this quote,” says RIT/NTID alumna Sara Gould. “It’s kept me moving forward and helped me come up with Plan B when Plan A wasn’t looking very good.”

The 30-year-old has made many of her plans into reality since she lost her hearing suddenly at age 14 when she was in ninth grade. She graduated from RIT in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned a master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2005.

“Thanks to my co-ops at RIT, I’ve worked in design, manufacturing and testing,” says the Binghamton, N.Y., native who now lives in Charlottesville, Va. “I enjoy the testing side of engineering, and work as a mechanical engineer in the test department of a Navy subcontractor.”

While a student at RIT/NTID, Gould played saxophone in several music groups, was involved with the RIT Student Music Association and served as the club’s president. She rowed on the RIT crew team and was in the RIT Outing Club.

Gould says of her time at RIT/NTID, “I learned to not be afraid to seek out people who I could learn from. There were so many people who took an interest in me and wanted to know how I was doing.”

She advises students to always try new things, and heeding that fortune cookie’s message, is working on starting a storefront business.

“It will offer laser engraving, 3D printing, electronics, coffee, snacks, Wi-Fi and space to make almost anything,” she explains. “Technology is a great connector, and I would like to find a way to include the deaf community in my plans. I’ve been looking into the entrepreneurial scholarship program that exists at NTID, and think it’s a great idea.”

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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