UTEP Alum Selected for 20 Under 30 Award
Yazmin Montoya’s resume is nothing short of impressive – from working with organizations like Intel, Freeport-McMoRan and Lockheed Martin to starting a nonprofit to support students on the job hunt, the UTEP alumna has made an impact across the board. Her hard work is now being recognized by SEMI: Microelectronics Industry Association, the premier association for those who work in the world of semiconductors, which selected her for their prestigious 20 Under 30 recognition.
“She is a great leader and has the set of tools, techniques and personality to achieve success,” said Sreenath Chalil Madathil, Ph.D., former professor of industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering at UTEP and Montoya’s graduate school advisor. “I have no doubt that she will be a great ambassador for the industrial and systems engineering program and UTEP.”
Since 1970, SEMI has served as a convergence of professionals working in the systems engineering and supply chain design industries around the world, all with the goal of supporting companies working to create faster and more efficient electronics.
Awarded annually at their conference SEMICon West – one of four conferences held across the globe – the 20 Under 30 recognition is given to 20 individuals in the field who have demonstrated incredible leadership, community service and dedication in their careers and beyond. Montoya was recognized at the conference held in July in San Francisco, California.
“I am glad that I get to represent UTEP in such a positive light,” Montoya said.
Montoya earned her B.S. in Engineering Leadership at UTEP in 2017, starting her MBA her senior year and completing it the following year. As a student, she got to participate in hands-on projects and explore different fields in engineering through her internship experience.
“I think the biggest thing that UTEP did for me was introduce me to internships,” Montoya said. “For my major, you have to have an internship or professional experience to graduate. I think that is what catapulted my career.”
Completing internships with Halliburton and Lockheed Martin allowed Montoya to gain the skills and knowledge she needed to achieve success.
“I learned about consulting, I learned about supply chain, which is what I’ve made my career, and I learned about project management,” Montoya said. “I’m now a technical program manager [at Intel], so it exposed me to possibilities beyond my wildest dreams.”
After working in the industry for a few years, she decided to return to UTEP to obtain an M.S. in Systems Engineering to obtain further knowledge in data analysis and advance in the field. During her second master’s, she completed her thesis on artificial intelligence.
“I still remember the day when she approached me in Spring 2020 to become part of my research team,” Madathil said. “We started working on a research project with a hospital when COVID hit, and we were uncertain about the project that requires data. She was very adaptable and did an amazing pivot to change her domain to get necessary data to conduct her research in advanced data analytics.”
Though her career kicked off after graduation, Montoya found a few hurdles in her path during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to her being laid off and unemployed for months. However, she kept her head high and took risks by accepting an internship with Intel and launching her nonprofit, Nontraditional College Success, which helps nontraditional college students land their dream job or internship.
In the end, despite these hurdles and the changes brought on by the pandemic, she later obtained a full-time position at Intel, where she loves to work and where she received the nomination for the SEMI 20 Under 30 recognition.
“I think that's what this award really shows is that I didn't just get lucky this year,” Montoya said. “I’ve been working really hard for the last several years in my career to get to this point. I think it really spoke to the trust that my manager and my team have in me. I was overjoyed.”
Last Updated on August 09, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published August 09, 2023
By Julia Hettiger UTEP Marketing and Communications