Meet Christina, an Industrial Engineer!
What made you decide to study Industrial Engineering?
I’ve always been curious about how things work. My curiosity has helped me learn how to improve the production processes of things that we need. As a kid, I always liked math and science so going into STEM seemed like a good fit for me. I feel like my education leading into college and throughout college helped me to understand how things work and how they are made.
What are some really cool things that you work on as an Industrial Engineer?
I work for the Department of Defense. I make sure that contractors are producing the products they need on time. I also work in quality assurance which means that I make sure that the contractors do a good job and that they complete their job.
An example of this is aircraft manufacturing. Industrial Engineers at these types of facilities make sure that the aircrafts that are being built are on schedule. If there is a scheduling problem or the production is falling behind, they solve it.
It is so exciting to see a completed aircraft get sent out to the US Navy. It feels good to be part of something that helps protect all Americans.
Can you tell us about a time that you failed and how you came back from it?
I joined the Peace Corps. The first country that I was sent to was a French-speaking country. We had to do 12 weeks of training. I was not at the level needed to teach. I learned quickly that they were not going to let me join the Peace Corps if I could not catch up or find a way to be involved.
This made me sit back, and I decided that this was definitely what I wanted to do. I did some research and I found programs in an English-speaking country. I did not have a language barrier anymore, so I could join the Peace Corps.
My work in the Peace Corps has played a huge part in my career. This is true now that I am working for the government in manufacturing facilities. I learned that if I really wanted something, then I needed to apply myself. I needed to work hard and keep working towards my goals.
How does diversity make the Industrial Engineering field better?
I think the diversity of women in engineering is a good thing. When women and people from all sorts of different cultures come together, they can bring new ideas. These different ideas can help improve products and the process of them being made. Diversity also helps us all work well together.
Diversity is also a good thing in the classroom. Students from all walks of life and backgrounds can help each other. They can also increase tolerance and understanding of different cultures.