Kristin Sweeney

Kristin Sweeney

Title
Sales Representative
Organization
Pennsy Supply Inc., An Oldcastle Company
Kristin Sweeney
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Biography
Hi, my name is Kristin and I have two engineering degrees. I received my BS in Mining and Minerals Engineering from Virginia Tech, and an MS in Engineering Management from Wilkes. I get asked all the time how I decided to be an engineer and how the heck I ended up in mining. As a child I loved to build things with my dad. My favorite thing to build was birdhouses! I always enjoyed science and math courses and because of that enjoyment the course work seemed to come easier to me. During my college career and following graduation I have worked for Oldcastle Materials. They are a huge aggregate, asphalt and heavy highway construction company. I was hired as a mine process engineer and I worked with two quarries from mine planning to plant layouts and optimization all the way through to working with the asphalt plants. I had the opportunity to write justifications for capital expenditure projects, justifying up to a few million dollars in spend. It was so rewarding to see the projects come to fruition and see the improvement they made at our sights. I then had the ability to travel all over the country as a Performance Manager to our sister companies and help with aggregate optimization projects. We used lean principles to help make our locations safer and more profitable. It is extremely satisfying to be able to help locations improve in a variety of ways. My engineering background has been a huge influence on the way I interact with people and leverage my knowledge base to help improve their operations. I recently accepted a role as a sales representative for aggregates and asphalt within my company. I am hoping to leverage my engineering background to help not only increase sales at my company but to provide added value to our customers.
Education
B.S. Mining and Mineral Engineering - Virginia Tech M.S. Engineering Management - Wilkes University
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Kristin Sweeney

Hi Ciara, 
When I was in college, I actually didn't decide on an engineering field until mid way through my freshman year! It's great that you already have the field picked out! My advice would be to take a look at the different college you are interested and see when you need to declare the specific field. Many of them may not require you to pick a specialty until your sophomore year, which gives you time to explore them in more detail. 
My second piece of advice would be to think about future careers in each of the specialties and how that aligns with your personality. For instance, do you see yourself in a lab setting? working at a plant? 
The best part really is that there is no right or wrong answer. Even if you are mid0way through your college career and you decide that you want to switch, that is always a possibility, just know it'll add time until you graduate. 
Good luck in your decision! You will be great!
Kristin