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Mariana M., Novi, MI
Biosystems Engineering, BS, 2015
Entry Level Manager, PepsiCo/Frito Lay, Wooster, OH

Marian M., 2015 BE graduate









“Presenting awards at the SWE banquet was a highlight of my undergraduate career.”

Funny story! As a Society of Women Engineers co-chair for a banquet themed “An Evening with the Industry,” various company sponsors joined SWE for festive feasting, PepsiCo among them. The next day, with a PepsiCo company representative, conversation started to flow. He asked if I would attend an informational session PepsiCo was hosting at the MSU Union. I received an interview on the spot and was invited to the second round of interviews at their plant in Wooster. Who knew that planning a dinner with industry would bring me an internship with Frito Lay and the job I know have! It was a summer internship packed with learning, and I was offered a permanent position after returning from rollout presentations in Dallas. I was honored to be the only senior in my engineering department that had a full time job waiting after graduation before senior year even began! The takeaway: get involved! Through clubs, sororities, travel abroad - connections happen! My study abroad is the classic tale of an opportunity falling in your lap. The first MSU Costa Rican trip was planned for a winter break. The “plane was full,” but someone had to pull out. Being fluent in Spanish and very interested in other countries, two days after turning in my last final, I found myself on a plane to Costa Rica. Paired with current biosystems engineering students from Universidad de Costa Rica, we met researchers and professionals in anaerobic digesters, biofuels, and renewable energy. An amazing introduction to biosystems engineering and as the youngest in the travel group, I had the most to learn about ecological engineering in the tropics. When we returned, connections made brought opportunities: translating and organizing biodigestor and wetland reports from doctoral researchers. Now a mentor to young female engineering students, I emphasize getting involved beyond the classroom, broadening horizons, increasing your viability as an engineer and so much more.

Reprinted from the DISCOVER September/October 2015 issue of Resource, the magazine of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, with permission from the publisher.


Rachel K., Rochester Hills, MI
Biosystems Engineering, BS, 2015
Manufacturing Engineering Associate, General Mills (Yoplait plant), Reed City, MI
Rachel K, 2015 BE Graduate

“My family bleeds green. My brother and I have sported MSU attire since we were born, and we experienced amazing college football together especially at the Rose Bowl when State won. We were the first students to pick up our tickets: front row seats!”

My internship experiences helped me discover my passion for working in operations, and showed me that the most critical component of being happy and successful is not the job itself but how a company values its people. I identify with General Mills’ company culture and their values: “do the right thing all the time” and “grow and inspire.” These company-culture values facilitate working and collaborating in a challenging and dynamic environment and enable me to make a positive impact. The company culture within General Mills provides opportunities for employees to grow together as engineers and professionals. My internship and co-op experiences include working for Perrigo Company as a production-engineering intern in Allegan, Mich., and for DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction as a shoulder product development co-op in Warsaw, Ind. As a production engineering intern, I worked in a Tablet Manufacturing Value Stream and led a plant-wide continuous improvement project from creation through implementation. I was given autonomy, resources, and opportunity to present regularly to upper management and operators about my project. I grew as an engineer and in leadership skills. As a co-op, my job was similar to an entry-level engineer. I supported project engineers and ensured progress and timeline. This helped me to further develop my communication skills, ability to work with a team, and strong work ethic. My biggest takeaways from these experiences are to always be open-minded, remembering that opportunities come in all shapes and sizes.

Reprinted from the DISCOVER September/October 2015 issue of Resource, the magazine of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, with permission from the publisher.


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