10 things you can do with an industrial engineering degree

Kim Christopher (BE IE, MBA) won my department’s Distinguished Achievement Award for alumni. She visited my department and gave a seminar about her career. She had worked in many roles in many industries and talked about her experience.

Kim’s list of what you can do with an ISYE degree:

  1. You could manufacture products.
    • Kim interned at General Motor, Procter & Gamble, and the military (she made motors for the F14 fighter jets)
  2. You could research new technologies.
    • Robotics, expert systems, intelligent transportation systems.
  3. You could sell products or services.
  4. You could market or communicate technical things.
    • Engineers companies need help telling their stories.
  5. You could develop new products.
  6. You could improve quality.
  7. You could run a business.
  8. You could teach.
  9. You could have a dual-career family.
    • I loved Kim’s enthusiasm for wanting it all, having it all, and not apologizing for it.
  10. You can give back.

Other takeaways:

  • Some of Kim’s achievements were due to being opportunistic when good opportunities came by. She was able to implement an intelligent bus transportation for public transit in Napa Valley because only public leaders there were receptive.
  • Sales was more fun than engineering.
  • Kim worked on an MBA while working full-time. It was grueling and expensive, and she has no regrets.
  • Kim said her choice of a husband was her most important choice along the way.

Kim Christopher

Kim Christopher

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