Rachel Kurzeja Rochester Hills, Mich. / 21 Biosystems Engineering BS, 2015 Michigan State University ASABE Student Member Manufacturing Engineering Associate General Mills (Yoplait plant), Reed City, Mich. My internship experiences helped me discover my passion for working in engineering 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 values: “Do the right thing all the time” and “Grow and inspire.” These 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.
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