Kettering allowed graduate to dive into engineering right away

Nov 5, 2013

“I thought that the classes and education that I received and the professors that taught me had a lot of real-life experience and practical knowledge,” Amanda Mallek '08 said.

Amanda Mallek ’08 chose Kettering not once but twice – each time for different reasons. The first time, Mallek enrolled to take advantage of the experiential and co-op-based learning model.

“I chose Kettering because of the co-op program,” Mallek said. “I wasn’t entirely sure when I graduated high school if I wanted to be an engineer and what I liked about Kettering is that I could try it starting in my freshman year.”

Amanda Mallek ’08Kettering was the right fit for Mallek as she graduated in 2008 with a degree in industrial engineering while completing her co-op placement at Fernco in Davison, Mich.

Kettering was such an enjoyable experience for Mallek that she enrolled a second time to complete her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) while working full-time at John Deere in Horicon, Wisc., just outside of Milwaukee.

“I thought that the classes and education that I received and the professors that taught me had a lot of real-life experience and practical knowledge,” Mallek said. “I thought that was a big advantage in my education.”

Mallek is currently a manufacturing engineer for John Deere where she works on the X700 riding lawn tractor. She oversees product planning, methods, tools fixture and process planning for the product line that’s built on-site. She plans for and designs assembly methods, including sequence, tools, fixtures and line design for the product line.

“It’s pretty much exactly what I thought manufacturing engineering would be,” Mallek said. “My degree is in Industrial Engineering so I had dabbled in the non-industrial side but I would say that my education does align with the job that I’m doing now. I like it.”

Mallek believes her professional thesis at Kettering helped her land her current position at John Deere. While at Fernco, Mallek applied lean principles and process mapping to the human resources department to help streamline processes for the overloaded two-person department.

“When I was interviewing for this job at John Deere, I started laughing because they asked me ‘have you ever dealt with a difficult situation,’” Mallek said. “The answer to every question was my thesis. It was an on the job real-life project that I had to work on. It helped me get the job and helped me succeed right away.”

Mallek is two classes short of completing her MBA at Kettering and remains thankful for the practical experience that she continues to gain during her graduate studies. 

“The reason that I chose Kettering again is because I remember from the course work and the professors that I was going to get real life knowledge which is valuable to me,” she said.