Why did you choose New York Tech?
I chose New York Tech because of the location, the opportunities it offers, and the diversity of the students who’d surround me here. I felt the chance to meet a wide range of students would open my mind to new ways of approaching projects and learning experiences.
Describe your career aspirations and how New York Tech has helped you on this path.
I hope to put my knowledge and education towards a career in the aerospace field. I grew up riding horses across the street from NASA JPL in Burbank, California. Ever since I was young, I would go to their open houses and try to grasp all the knowledge I could about the workings and functionality of technology in our world today and in the world to come. Once I saw the opportunity to learn more, I immediately took action to pursue an education that would feed my passion and hopefully get me closer to my ultimate goal.
Have you done any internships? Do you have a job?
I haven’t done any internships yet, but I’ve applied for a number of opportunities this summer (NASA, Boeing, Tesla, SpaceX, etc.). I am currently employed at RoboFun and I have a work-study job in the ETEC labs on the Manhattan campus.
What activities/clubs are you involved in at New York Tech?
I am the treasurer for the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Outreach Chair for the Society of Women Engineers.
What were you most looking forward to when you came to New York Tech? How has it matched your expectations, or what is different?
I was most looking forward to the education I’d be receiving and the social life I’d be experiencing. I am extremely pleased with my whole New York Tech experience. As for the education part, I feel like I have learned so much, especially from all the hands-on lab work. This is something not many schools focus on as intensely as New York Tech. As for social life, WOW is all I can say. I have met the most amazing people at New York Tech and being in the city has exposed me to so many new experiences that are seamlessly easing me into adulthood.
Are you receiving a New York Tech scholarship? If so, which one?
Yes! I am the recipient of the Academic Achievement Award, and the NYIT Grant.
How did you become an equestrian?
My father, Georges Bittar, is a professional equestrian rider and trainer, so ever since I was able to walk I was riding horses.
Tell us about your experience as an equestrian and how it led you to compete in American equestrian sports and the next Olympics.
I absolutely love riding horses; it is my passion and hobby. I started out where anyone else would—doing the basics; and, as I excelled, I moved up, winning more and more. Every moment I am on a horse or at the barn, I am completely focused on what I am doing to improve my performance as a rider and horsewoman. Without the help and guidance of my father and the USHJA federation, I would not have had the opportunities I’ve had. “It is all about perfect preparation meeting the perfect opportunity,” is what I always heard growing up and that is exactly true. I practice for months on end to go into a competition for a few minutes in the hopes of achieving of victory. But the only thing that truly pays off in the end is hard work.
How do you balance school and your sport?
Balancing school and horseback riding is extremely difficult for me as I get stretched so thin on both sides. My major is so demanding, and then to balance that with the expectation of performing at my best after having no practice for months on end is immensely tiring and stressful. In order to keep in the rankings in horseback riding while maintaining my educational status, I have to plan my competitions very carefully. I have to travel frequently throughout the semester; last year, for example, I was on 24 flights during the height of the semester. I was studying during every free moment in order not to fall behind in either of my classes, while still having to memorize courses and keep a calm and optimal mindset for competing.
What’s one fun fact about you that others will be surprised to learn?
I've been to 32 different countries competing internationally for Team USA.