When Breanna Haught of Mannington decided to attend West Virginia University she was unsure of the direction she wanted to take with her studies. Having excelled in math and science, she decided to pursue a degree in industrial engineering, a decision that would impact her life in unimaginable ways.
“I went to a small high school where academics came extremely easy to me,” said Haught. “When I came to WVU I was overwhelmed with the expectations of college courses, especially those for an engineering major. I struggled to keep my self-discipline and confidence where it needed to be to succeed in such a difficult major.”
Although Haught enjoyed engineering courses and the potential opportunities in the field, she struggled in the program. After three years, she made the tough decision to switch her major to multidisciplinary studies with an emphasis in business administration, communication and leadership studies.
“The change of pace gave me a better sense of satisfaction and I found the classes within those three minors to be extremely interesting,” said Haught. “Changing my major gave me the renewed sense of confidence I needed to complete a degree, but pursuing engineering was always in the back of my mind.”
During her last semester of college, Haught decided to retake some engineering classes she had previously failed to raise her grade point average before graduation. She realized that her passion for engineering still existed so she applied for re-entry into industrial engineering to obtain a second degree.
“At the age of 20 I just wasn’t ready to put the work in that was necessary to get a degree in engineering,” said Haught. “I was worried that I would not actually be able to complete a degree as difficult as engineering but retaking those initial IE classes and actually doing well gave me the confidence to pursue it again.”
A year and a half later, Haught has just one semester left before completing her degree.
“Proving to myself that I am smart enough to get an engineering degree has been the most rewarding experience,” said Haught.
Before graduation however, Haught will celebrate another important, yet unexpected, milestone in her life. She is getting married in August to her fiancé, Greenville native Nathan Harvey, whom she met through the IE program, which pairs upper and underclassmen in an effort to give students advice on classes, professors and internships.
"I met Nathan through the industrial engineering program the first time I was in it,” Haught said. “He was in IE 471 and I was in IE 200. We met every week for those classes, and we found out we were in the same calculus class as well. The more time we spent together, the more things clicked. Eventually we started a relationship. We have been together now for three and a half years."
Haught credits her fiancé as being the driving force behind her decision to return to WVU to finish her degree. She believes her choice to major in engineering will continue to positively shape her future for the rest of her life.
“I met the love of my life and I am going to have the family, career and stability of my dreams because I chose to not give up,” said Haught. “To know that life would not have turned out this way without the engineering college is always on my mind and it makes me appreciate it all the more.”
For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources:
College Relations office: 304-293-4086
Office of the Dean: 304-293-4157
Other College administrative and department offices: Administration