Mariana Madrigal Martinez Novi, Mich. / 22 Biosystems Engineering BS, 2015 Michigan State University Entry Level Manager PepsiCo/Frito Lay, Wooster, Ohio Funny story! As a Society of Women Engineers (SWE) cochair 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 now 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 who 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 that 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. It was an amazing introduction to biosystems engineering, and as the youngest in the group, I had the most to learn about ecological engineering in the tropics. When I returned, the connections we made brought more opportunities for me in translating and organizing biodigestor and wetland reports from doctoral researchers. As a mentor to young female engineering students, I emphasize getting involved beyond the classroom, broadening your horizons, increasing your viability as an engineer, and so much more.
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