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July 2019 Graduate; August 2019 Employee

Pam Lechner

You’ve just finished four years at the university. You’ve taken multiple courses to finish your degree and help prepare you for your chosen vocation. You have some hands-on experience and you have visited several foundries with your AFS Student Chapter co-members. Are you ready for your first full-time position in the industry?

In July 2019, Nicolle Miranda graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Product Design Engineering Technology and started working at General Motors in August 2019. 

“I took multiple courses in manufacturing processes, materials, quality control, and product management that all apply to my current role as a process quality engineer,” Miranda said. “My classes included a lot of hands-on learning, which helped visualize what is now happening with my job.” 
How did she secure her position with GM? She was selected to attend the 2018 FEF College Industry Conference (CIC). 

“Being able to attend the CIC gave me the opportunity to meet and interact with so many different people and different companies,” Miranda said. “There was a lot of one-on-one time spent with the companies, which gave me time to get to know GM and their employees. To me, the CIC was an environment surrounded by opportunities to help me succeed in my future.”

During her first year at General Motors, Miranda has worked with many different people who all take on different roles. 

“I’ve learned that no matter what job you have, it will affect multiple other jobs, and communication is a big part in succeeding as a company,” she said. “Every day since I have been working for GM, I’ve learned something different, whether it be the process, the reaction plan or working with others; it is very rewarding being able to learn something every day and apply it for the rest of my career.

“The transition from student to employee has been challenging but rewarding in many different ways. Having the opportunity to meet so many of my fellow-employees at the College Industry Conference, prior to accepting this position, made the transition a little smoother. I didn’t come into the situation completely cold—I already had a network.”

Due to recent conditions, the 2020 College Industry Conference will not be held in person but rather as a virtual event. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the CIC as a company exhibitor in the past, take advantage of this year’s different format and plan to join us. Please contact the FEF office for more details at 847-490-9200 or pam@fefinc.org.   

College Connection is a recurring feature that runs in Modern Casting highlighting the metalcasting programs and students at FEF schools.