Former Student Testimonials
Check out what some of our former students had to say about their experience being in the ISE program at Lehigh.
From what initially sparked their interest in ISE to what they have learned, from internships to career opportunities, these student testimonials provide a glimpse into the variety of opportunities one can find as an ISE student at Lehigh.
If you are planning on taking a tour of Lehigh during the academic school year, and would like to meet some ISE department faculty, staff and students, then please contact Communications Specialist, Amanda Fabrizio at Amanda.Fabrizio@lehigh.edu or at 610-758-2986 to schedule a visit.
Daniela Caro ’08, ’09G
Major: Bachelor's in Industrial Engineering, Master's in Information and Systems Engineering
Future leaders must be proficient in a multitude of disciplines that enhance career abilities. I chose Industrial Engineering (IE) at Lehigh because the IE curriculum allows students to take classes in both Industrial Engineering and Business. Students also have the option to take several classes from the Mechanical, Material Science and Chemical departments.
Industrial Engineering majors study and analyze optimization processes that can be applied to any branch of the industry. We deal with real-world scenarios on increasing efficiency, reducing costs and earning greater profits. An Industrial Engineering degree gives you the foundation to excel in consultancy, human resources and managerial positions. I plan on using this knowledge in my home country of Peru to improve health and safety environmental procedures. But ultimately, I wish to start my own entrepreneurial venture.
I spent the last two summers working for SAB Miller in El Salvador, Central America. Each summer was an entirely different experience, which provided me with the foundation to understand the organizational structure of any international corporation. During my first internship, I worked in the marketing and sales department of the company and the second time, I interned within the finance department.
If you like traveling, a challenging workload, math, programming, designing, accounting or investing, Industrial Engineering is for you. A career in IE will make you a winner. The fact that Lehigh’s IE/ISE department is ranked as one of the best in the country should also help you make your decision.
I am currently working for MillerCoors, at the corporate office in Chicago. My job title is Strategic Planning Analyst, and some of my responsibilities include evaluating and analyzing the market for new product development, providing in-depth reports supporting or rejecting sales promotions, evaluating the impact of sale incentives of the competition on our product brands.
I am currently living in Chicago, IL. Even though my undergrad and graduate degrees from Lehigh are in Engineering, my actual responsibilities don't entail much of an engineering background. However, I truly believe that the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Lehigh prepared me to excel in any branch of the industry, where critical and analytical thinking and a great attention to detail are needed. The department provided me with the fundamental tools and knowledge to be able to manipulate great amounts of data and information. Time management skills and multi-tasking are also further aptitudes instilled in me throughout college that are essential to my job on a daily basis.
Dan Cromartie ’10
Major: Information and Systems Engineering
I chose Lehigh because of the broad academic offerings, good reputation, the financial aid I was being given, picturesque campus, medium size, and a good distance from hometown.
I was very undecided about majors during my freshman year of college. The wide variety of potential careers and graduate programs was a big draw. I liked technical subjects, but traditional engineering majors were too specific, and honestly, I don't like to get my hands dirty. I really liked math, but it sometimes disregarded applicability to real life, and didn't have the connection to industry that ISE does. The problems ISE deals with are everywhere. I like the idea of not necessarily "changing the givens" to overcome a problem like other engineers often do, but rather just making better decisions with the resources you have available- which is what you are trying to do in almost your entire life.
The most interesting thing I have learned from the department so far is your intuition is probably wrong. I learned that you need to be skeptical of everything, and be able to justify anything you propose. I had the chance to do some great internships as well. During the summer of 2008, I interned for the NASA Langley Research Center, where I had the opportunitiy to do a mentored research program involving Statistics and Design of Experiments for modeling Scramjet Engine flows. This summer, I am interning at Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control, Operations Analysis Department. I am working with probability, statistics and simulation for anti-mine field munitions. I am also updating computer tools for ranking and comparing R&D projects.
After graduation, I plan on pursuing a M.S. in Management Science and maybe continue for a master's in Statistics. I would like to find a job in defense or consulting most likely. I would like to work abroad so I can work on my foreign languages.
Katie Drewes ’06
Major: Industrial Engineering
Always enjoying math and science courses, I began to think seriously about becoming an engineer. I researched the different types of engineers and found industrial engineering. I chose to major in IE because it’s the type of engineering that provides you the most options. With IE you get the technical background that you need to be an engineer, but you also take courses that help you understand the technology and business aspect of companies as well as general leadership skills. So although we might not be building a factory or the latest machine part, we understand the basic concepts of how they work and focus on how to improve the process and systems that support them.
I’ve had the opportunity to co-op for United Parcel Service (UPS), one of the largest employers of IEs in the country. I worked full time for UPS over the fall semester and summer after my junior year. I worked on data management projects in MS Excel and Access, as well as being involved with work measurement and time studies. I went riding with a UPS driver for a day, which helped me to understand all of the activities he had to accomplish. With that knowledge, I was able to determine how many minutes the morning allowance should be for all drivers in that building. I also worked out of the UPS Philadelphia International Airport Hub. Not only was I able to walk onto 747 planes and watch them land and unload everyday, but I also learned how to forecast the daily volume that was processed on their day sort. I learned the logistics of how to forecast the number of packages being processed daily, and saw the effects of how errors in the forecast affected the number of hours of the sort and the number of people employed. It was an invaluable experience from which I am still benefiting.
Currently I am in the process of interviewing for a job upon graduation. Because so many companies hire IEs for a variety of jobs, I have tons of options for the type of work I would like to do. I am focusing on consulting firms, investment companies, and pharmaceuticals. I have gone on interviews with companies like Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Navigant Consulting, IBM, and SEI Investments.
I am currently a Senior Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Advisory in Virginia. As a Management Consultant with PwC, I help companies anticipate, create, and manage change.
James Glynn ’06, ’07G
Major: Bachelor's in Information & Systems Engineering, Master's in Information & Systems Engineering
James Glynn email@example.com I chose to major in Information and Systems Engineering because it was a new and exciting program. The curriculum combines analytics, mathematics, and technology in a way that helps create graduates that are desirable to many employers. One great opportunity that came to me through the ISE department was the chance to co-op with marketRx, a company that combines technology, analytics and market research to enable customers in pharmaceutical and other life-science industries to improve effectiveness of their sales and marketing initiatives. During the eight months I was there, I had many new experiences and learned a a great deal. This was such a rewarding opportunity and I know it will definitely help me in the future. Another good experience I had through the ISE department was the chance to attend the National IIE Conference and compete in the International Simulation Competition. My team's project was selected as one of the five finalists, which gave us the chance to attend the conference for the final competition. I plan to continue my ISE degree on through graduate school to obtain my Masters degree.
Jackie Griffin ’05
Major: Information & Systems Engineering
What appealed to me most about the I&SE major was the application of mathematics to real world problems. In addition, I chose to enter the I&SE program due to the focus on the use of technology and computer applications to find optimal solutions. During my junior year I worked on a project in conjunction with marketRx, a pharmaceutical consulting firm.
During the project, I created an application to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of scheduling visits made by sales representatives. At the conclusion of the semester, my partner and I had the opportunity to present our conclusions to the Vice President of marketRx. In addition, I was consequently offered an internship with the company.
After graduation, I plan to start a career as a consultant applying the problem solving skills I acquired in the ISE program to business problems. In addition, I am considering furthering my education and entering a PhD program specializing in Operations Research.
Emily Jarina ’06
Major: Industrial Engineering
I started in Engineering because I like math and science. I didn’t know anything about the different disciplines. I saw the Industrial Engineering presentation, as well as some of the other engineering areas such as Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. I wanted to choose a major that would allow me to work in any industry. I knew I could do this with an Industrial Engineering degree. In addition, being an Industrial Engineer would allow me to work for Disney World!
I had the opportunity to do a co-op with UPS. I learned a lot about industrial engineering, working for a large company, and about myself. I spent time in their Air Hub working on misflow issues. We had to rework the flow to allow for fluctuations in volume to minimize the amount of misflows. This past summer I worked in one of their large feeder hubs working on rerouting the feeder pickup trips. I also developed and implemented functioning MS access databases on both rotations to aid in the problem solving. I am now doing research in the area of equipment replacement. I am looking at the factors that determine the value of an asset in a particular period. I will develop a decision model that will account for these factors.
As of now, I plan to study at Lehigh for an additional year as a Presidential Scholar and receive my masters degree in Industrial Engineering or enter a PhD program in the fall. Eventually I would like to enter into industry and maybe teach one day. My education in industrial engineering here at Lehigh is what is giving me the opportunity to do all of these things. Without my educational background and the amazing faculty that have helped me along the way, I would have never come this far.
Following graduation at Lehigh I had the opportunity to receive my masters (Presidential Scholar Program), start graduate studies at Cal Berkeley or take a job with IBM. I decided to take the job with IBM Public Sector. I lived in the DC area and worked on an SAP project with the US Navy for the entire two years before returning to school. I held 3 roles while on the project. I started working in the project management office, I then worked in training development and finally traveled to client site to train end users on the system.
I am currently a graduate student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at the University of Florida. I work under Dr. Joe Hartman (former ISE Dept. chair) focusing on equipment replacement under budget constraints. Since starting at Florida in August '08 I have TA'd Simulation, Work Design, and Facilities. This past summer I taught Industrial Quality control, which was a great experience.
Amanda Jasinowski ’06
Major: Industrial Engineering
I chose to study Industrial Engineering because of the variety of career options available with such a degree. I liked the idea of gaining a varied engineering background by taking courses not only in industrial systems and manufacturing, but also in the material science, mechanical, and electrical engineering curriculums.
An attractive draw to the Industrial Engineering department is the optional year-long senior thesis project available. You work with the professor of your choice, researching a topic that is of interest to you. I am currently writing a thesis on the opportunities of wind power.
I have also spent the last two summers working for General Motors. Each summer was an entirely different experience, proving to me the diversity of work available to an Industrial Engineer. During my first internship, I worked in the material handling department of a transmission plant. The second had me doing supplier quality work out of an office building and traveling 2-3 days each week.
As a senior, I am now experiencing the career search and interview process. With an IE degree, I am finding a wealth of companies to submit my resume to that actively recruit at Lehigh. The job options available include both technical opportunities as well as business-related careers. Currently, I have final-round interviews set up with both Lockheed Martin and IBM.
Matt Lenza ’06
Major: Integrated Business & Engineering
Coming into Lehigh as an IBE (Integrated Business & Engineering) student, I really didn’t know which engineering discipline I wanted to pursue. However, I knew that I did not want to focus all my time on engineering alone. There was no way I would spend four years at Lehigh to obtain a degree that would end up being useless if I decided to change career paths later in life. As a result of this, I chose Industrial Engineering because I felt it would be most beneficial for obtaining a cross-disciplinary type position upon graduation. An Industrial & Systems Engineering degree can qualify you for many business-related jobs in consulting and other similar positions whereas other engineering degrees may not be considered. The fact that our IE/ISE department is ranked as one of the best in the country also helped me make my decision.
At the end of my sophomore year, I interviewed for many co-op/internship positions including Hershey’s Foods, UPS, MarketRx, Boeing, and others. A position at Crayola specifically caught my attention. I began working for Crayola as a full-time employee during the fall semester while still living with friends at Lehigh. The following summer I also worked there to complete my co-op requirements and gained real life industrial engineering knowledge that I would have never learned in a classroom. This gave me the chance to re-think my future career path and decide what specific area of industrial engineering interested me the most.
As of now, I am in the process of interviewing with Boeing, UPS, JP Morgan, and others. I am also considering consulting firms such as Accenture. Upon completing my M.S. in Management Science here at Lehigh University, I will choose a position that involves a fair amount of travel balanced with an interesting and challenging workload. My final job however, will be to own my own business. With the knowledge I have gained through the ISE department, I began work on a new type of snowboard binding. My team and I worked through all the necessary steps to open up our own company, but we were beat to market by the biggest name in the industry. Although this venture did not work out as I hoped it would, I still am very much convinced that an entrepreneurial-type position will be my primary job in the upcoming years. The type of multi-disciplinary knowledge needed to become an entrepreneur was easily gained through the related academics of ISE.
Megan McLoughlin ’10, ’11G
I chose Lehigh originally for the Integrated Business and Engineering Program but found Lehigh to offer much more. It is the perfect size where you don’t know everyone, but always know someone and the campus is beautiful to walk around. Lehigh provides a great balance of academics and social life is something I don’t think I would have found anywhere else.
I chose IE because it fits really well into the IBE curriculum. I knew that I wanted to have an engineering background to get the analytical and quantitative education that the business side sometimes lacks. IE develops skills that can be applied to a broad range of industries, which is great for me since I am still trying to decide what I want to do after I graduate.
One thing I have learned from the IE department is being able to think outside the box when applying concepts learned in the classroom. Concepts learned while taking various IE classes can be applied to wide range situations, some of my topics include in regularly apply to different situations are optimization, continuous improvement and efficiency.
I am planning on staying at Lehigh for a fifth year and get a Masters of Management Science. I have taken courses at the undergraduate level that will allow for an easy transition into this Masters program. One of the reasons that drew me towards this program was the number of tracks you can choose. I am leaning towards Supply Chain/Logistics track, since I spent the summer working for Becton Dickinson as a Strategic Sourcing intern under the Integrated Supply Chain.
Jim Paolino ’09, ’10G
Major: Bachelor's in IBE, Master’s in Engineering in Information and Systems Engineering
I chose Lehigh because of the Integrated Business and Engineering Program. I knew I wanted to be an engineering major but was also interested in business. I really liked Lehigh’s balance of academics and social life. It’s a top school academically without being too cutthroat. Teamwork is encouraged and often required. I choose the IE major because of the problem solving skills you learn and the “big picture focus.” I like looking at an entire process or system and finding ways to make it better. Also, the skills you learn as an IE transfer to nearly any type of industry which allowed me flexibility in figuring out what I want to do career-wise.
There are many different ways to breakdown and analyze problems. Most of the time, the results are different than you planned on due to uncertainties you can’t account for. The best approaches are the ones that are able to handle such changes. This is one of the concepts I learned as an undergrad.
One of the professors that influenced me the most was the first one I met on campus, Professor Storer. He has been my adviser since my freshman year and been a big part of me being an IE. His classes were some of the most enjoyable I’ve taken.
After graduating from the ISE's department graduate program, I plan on working for a technology consulting company after school and being exposed to different industries during that experience. I’m hoping to find an area I enjoy and work within that industry.
Scott Pender ’09
Major: Information and Systems Engineering
I chose Lehigh for its esteemed Engineering program that offered a variety of options when I was unsure of what type of Engineering to pursue. I eventually chose I&SE because it perfectly combines my desire to maximize efficiency / improve processes and computer science.
The one thing I learned from the department was to plan. Good planning can help find existing errors and prevent future mistakes. A big part of learning this was Professor Plebani, who was my most influential IE professor. During class, he took the role of a boss who is more concerned with perceived performance than official grades. This technique meshed well with my own learning style as it forces the student to take personal responsibility and learn the material on their own after having figured out what information is truly important to the matter.
After graduation, I am planning on working for Freddie Mac in McLean, VA as a Business Technology Associate. My future goals are to move on to consulting or a managerial position within the same firm.
Alex Ruderman ’09, ’10G
Major: Bachelor's in IBE, Master’s in Engineering in Information and Systems Engineering
When I was applying to colleges, I could not decided if i wanted to do engineering or business. Lehigh had a very good mix of both, so I felt it was a good fit for me. I chose ISE because I believe ISE's are going to be a very important to businesses as we move into a more technologically run world and felt it would be a good opportunitiy for me.
I learned a lot of things from the IE department, but the best thing I learned was how to learn. Classes in the IE department made you think and use your analysis skills in order to do the best that you could. Dr. Plebani's classes, for example, were real world based and really helped me understand the skills I would need in the real world once leaving Lehigh.
After graduation, I plan on either possibly working with a consulting firm, or go back to school to work toward a Ph.D.
Charles Williams ’05
Major: Integrated Business & Engineering
I chose Lehigh University because of the Integrated Business and Engineering program (IBE), and chose Industrial Engineering as my major because I felt it was the best field to concentrate in while completing the dual degree program. When I took my first industrial engineering classes, I thought I wanted to focus on operations research, but after taking the core classes I found I preferred studying logistics. Because of the wide range of classes that are offered, I was able to adjust my schedule to take the classes that taught what I wanted to learn.
As a result of choosing Industrial Engineering, I have had the opportunity to take part in many experiences, both in and out of the classroom environment. There are three organizations that IE students can participate in: the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), the IE/ISE council, and Alpha Pi Mu IE honors fraternity. IIE is a professional organization for industrial engineers; it allows students to see what IE’s do in the real world, demonstrates the wide availability of careers that are open to IE’s, and offers a networking environment. The IE/ISE council is a council that has representatives from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes, plus graduate students and faculty. The goal of the council is to ensure that everyone in the department has a chance to voice their opinion if they have a question, concern, or idea for improvement within the department. Alpha Pi Mu is the honors fraternity associated with the industrial engineering major, recognizing those who have done well academically. I had the pleasure of being a member of all three of these groups, as well as being the co-chair of the IE/ISE council and president of IIE.
I was also afforded many valuable experiences outside of the classroom, with two internships and a senior project that helped me prepare for entering the real world. I interned with the automotive leather manufacturer Seton Company, doing statistical analyses to develop a model that would predict raw material utilization. As part of the program, I was exposed to all parts of the leather making process, from visiting the tanneries in New Jersey to finishing plants in Pennsylvania, to cutting plants in Mexico. The next summer, I interned with IBM’s SAP practice in the Business Consulting Services division. This allowed me to get a taste of the consulting lifestyle, as well as learn the widely used industry program, SAP. Also, as required by the IE curriculum, I took a senior project, working with FMI Corporation. Located in the Lehigh Valley, FMI bottles many household products, among which are liquid soaps and detergents. I helped construct a database for various bottling operations; this was another example of applying what I’ve learned in the classroom to solve a real world problem.
I had the opportunity to interview with many companies, both for internships and full time positions, over the past couple years. One of the best aspects of industrial engineering is that there are so many possible career paths. Companies come to Lehigh to interview industrial engineers for, among others, positions in manufacturing, logistics, and consulting. After I graduate I will continue consulting with IBM in their SAP practice, helping companies install SAP to streamline their business and make their supply chain run more efficiently.
I was a Senior Consultant with IBM Global Business Services focusing on implementing ERP Product Lifecycle Management solutions, such as SAP and Windchill, for clients in the industrial sector, which includes automotive, mining, and industrial manufacturing. The day to day responsibilities varied from project to project, but at times included requirements gathering, process analysis, system configuration, testing, leading small teams, presenting demonstrations, and collaborating with client management and other consultants. During the economic downturn consulting in the industrial sector was hit especially hard and IBM was forced to undergo rounds of layoffs, I was included in one of the later rounds when it became evident the project pipeline would not recover as fast as initially believed.
I have relocated from Bethlehem to the Washington DC area and have been interviewing with companies that specialize in supply chain management, product lifecycle management, and government consulting. The Industrial Engineering department prepared me for this situation by providing me with a broad range of marketable skills and the ability to fit into a variety of roles which require both a technical and business background.
Brendan Van Ackeren ’09
Major: Industrial Engineering
Having grown up in Bethlehem, I was always familiar with Lehigh and what the University had to offer. I enrolled at Lehigh in the fall of 2005 unsure if I wanted to pursue engineering, business or architecture. Lehigh was one of the few universities that boasted strong programs in each and I knew I'd be able to find the right fit for me. I began my studies in the School of Engineering and was instantly intrigued by the engineering problem solving mindset. After getting a few courses under my belt, I knew Industrial Engineering was for me as it allowed me to combine my technical engineering mind with business world applications. I minored in business in an effort to compliment my Industrial Engineering skill-set.
During my four years in the ISE department, I learned that it is important to never stop asking questions and to never stop learning. True growth can only be achieved once we recognize that we do not have all the answers and are still students at heart. Looking back post-graduation, you come to learn that the Industrial Engineering degree is more about what you learned than the grades you achieved. It brings great satisfaction to see the principles and applications you learned in the classroom applied in the working world. I can attest to the fact that you are always learning on the job as you grow your career, so possessing the problem solving qualities we inherit through the ISE curriculum is extremely valuable. Dr. Storer and Dr. Groover were great influences and mentors during my time at Lehigh.
I interviewed with a number of industry companies offering operations-based rotational programs, but ultimately chose to pursue consulting upon graduation from Lehigh. I currently work in the Advisory practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City. I specialize in merger integration and diligence work for private equity companies. I have supported both pre- and post-deal merger integrations and participated in due diligence reviews for integration and carve-out projects. I find consulting to be very rewarding in that I am exposed to so many different industries and business models and have amble opportunity to leverage the engineering problem solving skills I developed at Lehigh. I make every effort to return to Lehigh each year for various on-campus recruiting events and am sure to make it back to the Lehigh Valley to watch the Brown & White beat up on those cross-town Lafayette Leopards.
William Yeung ’09
Out of all the colleges I visited, I felt that Lehigh's size was best. Lehigh's small yet not too small class size is a place where I can get to know the professors as well as my classmates very well. The professors always have their doors open to students and are very easy to reach for help or even just a quick chat. At larger schools, it feels like I'm lost in a sea of students while at smaller schools, it's almost as if too much attention is being focused on me.
The best part of industrial engineering is how it can be used almost everywhere. I have learned that one of the most precious resources in life is time. Time is irreplaceable and constantly against us and is one of the most important waste IEs try to minimize because after all, time is money and nearly everyone wants to maximize profit. This makes IEs valuable to every company which meant I could graduate and still do whatever I wanted which turned out to be dentistry.
Every professor has made the Lehigh experience unique, several of them have made a particularly huge difference. Professors Storer, Groover and Thiele have been key to making my four years so wonderful. With Professor Storer's great advising and support in my decisions, Professor Groover's rare but well worth the wait jokes, and Professor Thiele's ability to answer an email within 10 minutes no matter what time you send it, I know that these people have left me unforgettable memories.
After graduation, I plan to go to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor next year to get a DDS degree. My long term goal is to finish dental school and practice dentistry whether it be as a general dentist or a more specialized field of dentistry.
Jim Zurlo ’10
Major: Industrial Engineering
When I originally came to Lehigh for an official campus visit, I had a visual idea of what a college campus should look like and Lehigh just fit that mold. The reputation for an excellent academic school as well as a school to have plenty of fun experiences for four years sold me immediately.
I choose IE because of my experiences during Engineering Candidates Day in Spring 2006. I was not too familiar with Industrial Engineering but put the ISE department down to have a tour with along with Mechanical Engineering. When I went on the tour for Mechanical Engineering, there were just too many prospective students asking questions and I did not feel I got anything out of the tour. I then went to the ISE department and received a warm welcome and tour from Dr. Joseph Hartman, the department head at the time. He told me about the possibilities for jobs with an Industrial Engineering degree and I knew I was in the right place.
After graduation, I plan on pursuing a job as a consultant in the transportation industry. I had the opportunity to intern at Crayola in Easton, PA during the summer inbetween my Junior and Senior year at Lehigh, doing Internal Consulting/Continuous Improvement and enjoyed the types of projects I worked on. I would like to take the skills that I learned and apply them to the transportation industry, in particular, commercial aviation.
When I graduate from the ISE department, I will takethe softer skills along with me, such as how to actively engage a superior and a subordenate in a company, and how to effectively manage a team. No matter which university you go to, you will learn the same hard skills. What distinguishes one university to another are those soft skills you only learn through positive interaction with professors and industry experts. I have had multiple encounters with companies such as Air Products, Kraft, Crayola, and IBM where I have been able to take those soft skills and apply them to real world situations.
During my time with the ISE department, I have been a part of cooperative project with Kraft Foods, located in Allentown, PA. This project was part of a Leadership Development class taught by industry expert Gus Gustafon. We put together a report based on observations from site visits and offered recommendations for employee retention and new hire programs and presented this to different managers and business unit leaders in the corporation for consideration.