Alumni Highlight: Andrea Mercado '10

Major: Applied Mathematical Sciences

Current Residence: Berkeley

Current Occupation: Senior research associate in the Building Technology and Urban Systems Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Everyone says internships can lead to full time jobs. That was definitely the case for Andrea Mercado (Applied Mathematical Sciences/BS/2010), although not in the most direct way one would assume.

While a student at UC Merced, Mercado worked as the building efficiency intern for Facilities Management. In this role, she worked underground, on rooftops and spearheaded the energy-performance effort, which included the computer-based system for monitoring the energy consumption of various buildings on campus.

Mercado was doing such a great job, her boss invited her to present with him at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) on UC Merced’s plans for becoming more energy efficient. While at LBNL, Mercado had the opportunity to meet Carl Brown, who later offered her a job there – one she felt prepared for by her experiences at UC Merced.

Now Mercado is working as a senior research associate in the Building Technology and Urban Systems Department at LBNL.

“As a member of the Commercial Buildings group, I assist development of Web-based tools, which derive energy-saving measures from actionable analytics of building data,” Mercado said. She continues to set her sights on new opportunities, including graduate school with UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group. It's one more step on her career path in green technologies, building off of her work and experience at UC Merced and beyond.

As a student at UC Merced, Mercado also served in the ASUCM Senate and was the founding member of the Lambda Alliance, UC Merced’s first LGBT student organization, and continues to serve as an advisor to the group. Through this role, Mercado reminds UC Merced’s students of the importance of building networks and working closely with faculty and staff members. One never knows when the next opportunity may present itself!