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Meet ISyE Graduate and Tech Legacy- April Hsieh

Dec 11, 2015

As Tech celebrates its 250th Commencement this weekend, we talked with a few graduates who have connections to Commencements past.

For some who come to Tech as a legacy, they may be the most recent in a long lineage of Yellow Jackets. For others, they’re part of a new generation that is planting roots that could start that lineage for years to come.

April Hsieh

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering
POST-GRAD PLANS: Working at Georgia Power
PHOTO: April’s cousin Ferris Hua, whose graduation was at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, helped start her family's Tech lineage.

When April Hsieh walks across the stage this week as a Tech graduate, it will be her sixth Georgia Tech Commencement. She’s the latest of a long line of recent Yellow Jackets in her family — but not the last.

In middle school, April came to campus with her parents to visit her older cousins who were out-of-state students from California. They often came to April’s house in Johns Creek, and she, her parents, and brother would come to campus to see the cousins so they had family support away from home. April made it her mission to be a contrarian during those visits.

“I wanted nothing to do with it,” she said. “I wore a Georgia sweatshirt and red bows. I barked at people. I was awful.”

Then she took a campus tour of Tech.

“After that, I thought, ‘Oh shoot, I have to go here,’” she said. “Everyone in my family is sort of similar, and for the same reasons it was the right fit for them, it was right for me. Now we all have this shared experience.”

Academically, Hsieh found industrial and systems engineering to be a perfect match for her sensibilities. Outside of class, she found a place with her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and as part of GT 1000’s Team Leader Advisory Board. After four co-op rotations with Georgia Power, she’ll return there after graduation in a full-time position.

Leaving behind the campus and its memories may be the toughest part — being on campus with like-minded people, and storming Grant Field after Tech’s victory over Clemson in 2011.

She’ll have a couple of reasons to come back, though, with at least two more Commencements to attend: Her brother, Allen, is majoring in mechanical engineering, and her cousin Lin is working on a master’s in business administration.