Alyssa Gilliland ‘17 feels she was destined to work at The Dow Chemical Company.
She was interested in Chemical Engineering as a high schooler, an interest that drove her to attend Kettering University and study Chemical Engineering.
The combination of her education at Kettering and co-op at Dow Automotive perfectly prepared her for the new job as an analyzer systems engineer at The Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas, she said. Gilliland started her job in October after graduating in September.
As an analyzer systems engineer she needs the knowledge of both small-scale chemistry and the design process. At Kettering, Gilliland learned about the macro aspect of Chemical Engineering. During her co-op at Dow Automotive, she learned about the small-scale aspects, which she put to use while testing the molecular makeup or amount of water in a finished product.
Gilliland’s job requires her to interact with various disciplines of engineering, including electrical and mechanical.
“Kettering does a good job of preparing us for that,” she said. “You’re not only required to take classes within your field.”
Without her education and professors who really care, she said, she wouldn’t have been able to get the job and work for a huge name in the chemical industry. Gilliland also stressed the importance of building good relationships with colleagues.
Her coworkers at her co-op went over her resume with her and helped her build a professional skill set. The human resources department at Dow helped Gilliland find her current job, but the search wasn’t limited only to The Dow Chemical Company.
“They were interested in me having a successful career,” she said.
She advises current Kettering students not to put limits on what they think they can do.
“If you don’t take a risk, you’re never going to learn anything,” Gilliland said. “Have faith in yourself, keep telling yourself you can do it, and eventually you can.”