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Break Boundaries in Minneapolis-St. Paul

WE18, the Society of Women Engineers' Annual Conference, is Oct. 18-20, 2018, in Minneapolis, MN, so we asked some local engineers what it's like to live and work in MSP.

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Break Boundaries in Minneapolis-St. Paul

By Make It. MSP

There’s a lot to love about Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP), so we asked three local engineers to tell us why this is a vibrant place for problem solvers to grow personally and professionally.

Meet a Local Engineer

Caroline Kittle, Associate Systems Engineer, Medtronic

Break Boundaries in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Caroline Kittle

Hometown: Temecula, CA

What problem(s) are you working to solve?
I am working towards making glucose a vital sign by developing a continuous glucose monitor for patients with Type 2 Diabetes that can inform patients how their behaviors impact their glucose levels and help them to better manage their disease.

What makes MSP a great place to grow your career?
MSP is home to the Medtronic operational headquarters, providing thousands of jobs for engineers like me. It is a young, growing metropolis with plenty of opportunities for growing my network and expanding my career possibilities.

What do you think surprises people about MSP?
When friends and family visit from out of state, they are consistently surprised when they realize how much I love it here. There are so many things to do any time of year – from paddle boarding in the lakes in the summer to exploring ice castles in the winter. They also realize the people here really are that friendly.

What advice do you have for women engineers starting in their careers?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. I never would have imagined myself in this city/role a year ago, but I couldn’t be happier.

Elif Tokar-Erdemir, Lead Data Scientist, Target Corporation

Hometown: Ankara, Turkey

Break Boundaries in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Elif Tokar-Erdemir

What problem(s) are you working to solve?
I am currently working on Assortment Optimization (i.e. creating a model to decide which items will be the best to offer to our customers) and Clearance Optimization (i.e. creating a model to decide what markdown percentage should be applied for a given set of items at different weeks of clearance time frame)

What makes MSP a great place to grow your career?
I work with many other smart engineers and data scientists, and we learn from each other and provide peer review. The work environment is very collaborative and promotes learning new skills from each other and through training opportunities. Additionally, MSP is a place where you can find several prestigious companies who are in need of engineers/scientists. Most importantly, the schools are among the top ranked in the nation, so it was better for my family to settle here.

What do you think surprises people about MSP?
People are very nice (so Minnesota nice is very true!). Spring and summer is beautiful and there are so many outdoor activities you can do throughout the year—despite the cold in winter. Work culture is collaborative rather than competitive, and when there is competition (champion and challenger teams) it is for the benefit of the company and creates learning opportunities for everyone.

What advice do you have for women engineers starting in their careers?
Be confident in your ability to be successful. Make sure to understand what’s expected from you and create a career plan for yourself.

Kimberly Miller, Engineer, General Mills

Hometown: Brooklyn Park, MN

Break Boundaries in Minneapolis-St. Paul
Kimberly Miller

What problem(s) are you working to solve?
I work at General Mills on new products, and we serve the world by making food people love. Food that you can feed your family conveniently, nutritiously – even joyously.

What makes the MSP a great place to grow your career?
There are a wide variety of job opportunities within the community. There are also so many great opportunities to grow your skills, including outside of work through the variety of colleges and universities and the plethora of professional organizations—the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is one example.

 Additionally, MSP is a wonderful place to live life, which is an important balance to your career. Whatever your passions are outside of work, you can make it happen here and find your tribe who share your interests.

What do you think surprises people about MSP?
MSP has all the work and play opportunities that other big cities have. Many people that I’ve met from the coasts are surprised by all that MSP has to offer—arts, athletics, entertainment, food, jobs, outdoors, etc. Plus, MSP has a wonderful change of seasons that is so much more than just the cold winter, and with that brings a natural progression of fun events and activities. You never get bored because the continual changes bring you something new to spice things up.

What advice do you have for women engineers starting in their careers?
Regularly communicate what you are interested in. If you don’t make others aware of what you are passionate about, you may miss out on those opportunities.

Read more MSP engineer stories

MSP is the best place to make an impact.  We pride ourselves on working together to build a stronger community. We want to know the work we do really matters.

Here you’ll be working among global leaders to solve the world’s biggest problems. With a high concentration of headquarters in the region and 60,000 total jobs open today, including thousands of engineering jobs, you can advance—and lead—early in your career. Plus, you’ll find purpose both in and out of the workplace.

So, what are you waiting for? Make it. MSP.

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