Student, Class of 2017

Why did you choose this program (major)?

Serendipity. I left high school knowing one thing: I was destined for a career in STEM. I loved math and the scientific process. When it came to transfer my junior college credits to a university, life constraints gave me two choices. Oregon Tech won purely from the logistical equation of attending any 4-year school in Oregon. From there, I considered one of Oregon Tech’s most capable majors, civil engineering. Only after heading in that direction, did I stumble across Operations Management. I interviewed professionals from both the Civil and Operations Management Departments. The interviews confirmed my hunch – I was meant for a career in Operations Management.

What are you passionate about changing in this particular field and why?

My degree is all about change, ‘Continuous improvement,’ to be specific. It would be preposterous for anyone who embraces positive change not to look internally at the tools and methods used in their industry. We ‘operations folk’ detest inefficiencies in any capacity. In my future, time will naturally be spent in varying combinations of investigating and applying improvement initiatives both internally and externally. One day, I will be streamlining a supply chain – the next I will be designing a better broom to sweep the warehouse. This degree fits me so well that to be told not to initiate change would wither my soul.

Why did you decide to join TOP?

TOP is an instant support system and is the best insurance policy a student can opt-into to set themselves up for success. I wanted to be part of TOP because of the community of dedicated individuals who happen to have access to a wide range of resources. I knew if I could be a part of TOP, I would have everything I needed to finish my path to graduation.

Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

Our return on investment is ridiculous! And because this is a small teaching institute, students have access to extended time with experts from industry. We may not have a large Greek society, plentiful dining options, or access to great shopping – but Oregon Tech offers us an immersive, application-based, data-driven experience unlike so many other educational institutions. In the end, the lack of distraction only adds to the quality of our education.

What is your favorite hobby, and do you have any experiences you would like to share regarding that hobby?

Cliché or not, I love to learn. I devour podcasts, TED talks, audible non-fiction, articles, and scientific studies. I end up learning a lot of interesting, but ultimately useless information. Sometimes, however, the things that I stumble upon are important or applicable enough to act on. TOP has allowed me to do this with great support. Recognizing that we lacked time and space to improve our negotiation skills in preparing for our first job offer, TOP and I worked together to sponsor Oregon Tech’s first compensation package negotiation workshop open to all students. We grow our collective strength when we are afforded the opportunity and support to pursue initiatives from our innate intuition and educationally based acumen.

What fuels you to succeed?

My DNA. While at TOP, I was guided through the Myers Briggs Type Indicator assessment and discovered that I am an ENTJ. According to Truity, my Myers Briggs type is one of the least common types in the population and the rarest type among women. As an ENTJ, we make up only 3% of the population. Of all women, only 1% are ENTJs.

Before the understanding that came with the Myers Briggs assessment, I considered and rationalized many possible contributing factors fueling me to succeed. Because of the rarity of my personality, it made sense that I would yet to find evidence to suggest that my drive was anything other than the expression of outside influences. The more I learned about my personality, however, the more it became clear. My drive and ambition are simply part of my natural makeup.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

Terri Torres. I admire Professor Torres’s straight line approach and pragmatic cultural awareness.

As someone who values efficiency, her lectures are irreplaceable. Torres’s pace of teaching is faster than any other I’ve experienced at Oregon Tech. When I took Statistics II with her, I felt as though I finally had a professor willing to dish it out at a pace that gave me the most value per lecture minute. For those of us that soak up material at a quicker pace, this firehose stream of information is refreshing!

As someone who is naturally curious, the extra insights into population statistics used in lecture examples were fascinating – and felt very much like a treat along the way. Torres encouraged us to think critically about our findings and often asked us to confront uncomfortable truths. It is not enough to understand why something is (although statistics is a great tool at describing these states) – but Torres pushed us to contemplate how we would approach change. It was never a question that we should use our education to better the world around us.