Engineering Student Council Welcomes New President Kaylee Chew

Kaylee Chew

Sept. 28, 2022 - Kaylee Chew didn’t always consider herself a leader. During a difficult freshman year, Chew grappled with whether she should transfer to another school or not. The following summer, she attended an “Internship Insider” event hosted by UC Irvine’s Engineering Student Council (ESC). Inspired, Chew personally reached out to one of the panelists who recommended she join ESC. 

“I genuinely feel like ESC has saved my undergrad experience because I was able to really connect with other people with similar passions,” Chew said. “I think for me, freshman year, I had a hard time finding my group, but ESC gave me a spot to come back to every week, even when it was online.”

ESC is the student-led organization responsible for representing the Samueli School’s engineering student body and overseeing other engineering student organizations. The student council consists of four main committees that aim to serve every part of campus, including corporate affairs, student involvement, faculty engagement and community outreach. 

Chew, a biomedical engineering major, is now entering her fourth year at UCI and third year with ESC. She is serving as president for the 2022-2023 school year after previously serving as vice president of communications and general member of the corporate affairs committee.  

“Ever since I started being in ESC, I've had such a passion for this organization and I've seen firsthand that it can help so many students,” Chew said. “So many people have gotten job and research opportunities out of this. I'm so excited for this upcoming year and I have a lot planned.”

Aspiring engineers can benefit professionally by joining ESC. The corporate affairs committee connects students with companies and industry representatives through company tours and information sessions. “Networking Dinner Night,” for instance, is a mixer held by ESC at the beginning of the year that sits students down at a table with a wide variety of representatives from industries ranging from software to aerospace engineering, allowing students to learn more about different engineering disciplines.

“We send out a form beforehand where students can register for the event and list the specific companies they're interested in, which we then use to put students into groups,” Chew said. “You can rotate and talk to all these different company representatives. It's very nice because it's a more relaxed environment — it doesn't feel like an interview. You're just able to learn more about them and their company, and hopefully, score a job that way.”

Entering the fall quarter, Chew encourages incoming freshmen to join Leaders in Freshman  Engineering (LIFE) and meet other first-year students. LIFE is a program within ESC developed specifically for first-year undergraduate engineering students. Freshmen are paired with upperclassmen mentors in ESC who help them navigate their way through UCI. Mentors provide guidance to mentees, helping them with their resumes and four-year plans during weekly workshops. 

One thing Chew is looking forward to this year is the return of National Engineers Week, better known as E-Week, which celebrates engineering students and faculty and brings together the engineering community through fun festivities. E-Week is an annual event that takes place during the eighth week of the winter quarter and is considered ESC’s largest event of the year. Last year’s E-Week was the first one back in person after nearly two years. 

As president, Chew also intends to bring back E-Ball. The annual formal dance is hosted by ESC and is open to all UCI students. Due to the pandemic, E-Ball was postponed for the last three years. “I'm really excited because everyone on my team right now has never attended E-Ball, so we have free reign to transform it into whatever we want it to be.”

Raised in Cupertino in Northern California, Chew moved down to Irvine when she started school at UCI in 2019 and was initially admitted as a biological sciences major. She has always been interested in biology and medicine, but didn’t want to follow the typical career route of becoming a doctor, so she decided to combine those interests with engineering. Following graduation, Chew would like to explore working in tissue engineering and the medical devices industry. 

“I think Kaylee has done a phenomenal job so far as president and I have no doubt that she will continue to do so as we welcome general members in the next few weeks,” said Jayson Lee, third-year computer science and engineering student and ESC vice president of development. “Kaylee has a very strong presence and her leadership can be felt throughout the club. She's someone that I look up to and I thoroughly believe that members who join will also share that sentiment with me.”

For those looking to follow in her footsteps, Chew advises students to be genuinely passionate about what they’re pursuing. She credits ESC with strengthening her leadership skills. She encourages others to apply. With over 100 positions available in the organization, ESC offers members plenty of room to grow as both engineers and leaders. 

“Work ethic is definitely the most important,” Chew said. “I think a lot of the time, it's easy for people to put clubs on the back burner, especially when school gets busy, but you need to be consistent and have good time management. That coupled with being interested and passionate about what you do, you'll be able to work your way up. Other people will definitely be able to recognize it.”

ESC is currently accepting applications for both general members and LIFE until Friday, Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m. For more information, students can email Chew with questions at

-Yuika Yoshida