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HSF Leaders

Yessenia Lopez

  • Gender: Female
  • University: University of California - Berkeley
  • University: University of California - San Diego
  • Undergraduate Degree: Mechanical Engineering
  • Company: Amgen
  • Position: Device Supply Chain Manager
  • HSF Advisory Council: Los Angeles

Yessenia Lopez says that it was a high school counselor that first encouraged her to consider higher education. She had always had a passion for math and science, and, in the face of difficult circumstances at home, she says school became an escape. The idea of a college degree, she recalls, offered her the chance for a better life for herself and her family.

She went on to attend the University of California (UC), Berkeley, from which she graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. While there, she served on the board of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, organizing outreach events, and participated in the Engineering Honor Society (Tau Beta Pi), and the Society of Women Engineers.

As a first-generation college student, she shares that she experienced personal fears of “not being enough” and not belonging among her peers, especially as a female in the male-dominated field of Engineering. But, she recalls, the experience taught her resilience, and through her accomplishments, she proved to herself that she did, indeed, belong and that she had “earned every success [she] achieved.”

Upon reflection, she attributes her HSF scholarship with affording her the opportunity to focus on her studies while also connecting other with first-generation Latino students “to form a community away from home and feel a sense of belonging.” After completing her undergraduate studies, she went on to UC San Diego, to earn her MS in Bioengineering.

With her master’s degree, she went to work, first for Ossur—an orthopedic equipment company—and then for Ovation Medical, as a Technical Lead, designing orthopedic products and leading projects from concept to commercialization. In 2013, she joined the biotechnology company, Amgen, where she has continuously advanced through roles of increasing responsibility. Today, she is a Device Supply Chain Manager at the company, and manages external suppliers and development partners in product launches, while providing supply assurance, post-launch. She is also a listed inventor on four US patents, for her contributions in innovative orthopedic product designs.  

Additionally, she serves as the Global Communications Director for Amgen’s Latino Employee Network, and provides one-on-one mentoring for students from local high schools. She was a guest speaker at the sixth annual conference for Spanish-speaking parents at Conejo Valley Unified School District, and at the University of California’s “Lean In UC: UC Women’s Leadership Conference” at UCLA, representing women in tech and engineering. An HSF Alum, she gives back to the organization through her membership on HSF’s Advisory Council, in Los Angeles.

Yessenia advises students who are preparing to graduate from college to think long-term as they embark upon their professional careers. “Do some soul searching to determine what your personal passions and priorities are in life,” she says, “and ensure that your profession aligns with those passions and priorities, to achieve happiness.”