September 19, 2007Her job: Production Supervisor, Cargill, Inc.
Describe what you do in your current work situation?
I supervise the operations of the oil unloading and loading into and out of a soybean oil facility and the wastewater operations. This includes supervising six operators, all male, controlling some of the logistical operations and designing and executing projects in my department.
Why did you choose engineering?
I liked chemistry and math in high school. At first I wanted to be a chemist and started going to college for chemistry, but then I found that chemical engineering wouldn't keep me stuck in a laboratory all day so I changed and I think I really found my niche.
Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
Montana State University B.S. in Chemical Engineering
What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
The main part of my day is spent supervising my team to ensure that quality and production needs are met. I also work with other engineers, sales people, chemists and logistics managers to better our product and provide the best services to our customers.
What do you like best about being an engineer?
I think the best part is seeing my team succeed and breaking records together. I love working as a team on "bigger picture" items. I also love designing new systems, my favorite part of doing a project is seeing the finished product and knowing that I designed it.
Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
Graduating with honors from college
What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
I think the biggest challenge I have faced is becoming a supervisor. I have to be more mature than my subordinates. I must stop squabbles and try to keep the peace between them. I have to always encourage them to keep trying their best, and the most difficult is disciplining someone when they don't perform.
Please tell us a little about your family.
I am single, but am not against having a family, I just dont know if I'll have time.
What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
Short-term, I want to learn as much as I can about being an engineer in this company. Long- term, I want to have a successful career and maybe a husband and children
What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
My mom has a great influence over me. I see her as a strong independent woman who can fully support herself and I feel that independence is my first goal to achieve as an adult.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
It's not an easy career, and it's not for everyone. Most careers in engineering are very time intensive. Very few engineers work 40 hours weeks or less. However, it is exciting and rewarding when you see your designs and hard work realized. I think it's worth it (most days).
Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
I used to love hiking in my hometown, but now that I live in eastern North Carolina I dont have many places to hike, but I do like going to the beach and kayaking in the ocean and rivers nearby.