Industrial engineering student lights up a career path
Leanna Miller came to Texas State unsure where her path would lead. But with the help and guidance of her professors, she found a field she describes as “a perfect fit.”
The Texas State senior always new she had a knack for mathematics and problem-solving. She chose Texas State because of the school’s proximity to her hometown, Spring, and because of the beautiful campus. She chose her major after receiving guidance from a professor.
“My introductory professor helped guide all students into the correct major, where they belonged; for me, it was industrial engineering,” Miller says.
As an industrial engineering student, Miller has excelled both in and out of the classroom. She has been on the dean’s list every semester since she enrolled and received the Academic Excellence Award from the Ingram School of Engineering her freshman and junior years. Plus, she has been actively involved with student organizations on campus, as a member of the Diamond Sweethearts and serving as vice president and then president of the Society of Women Engineers.
“She is an outstanding student,” says Dr. Clara Novoa, Miller’s operations research professor. Novoa says Miller coordinated fundraising activities so 20 students could attend the SWE National Conference in 2010 and coordinated SWE service activities. Additionally, “she got an A in my IE 3340 class.”
Miller credits her professors with guiding her down her career path.
“Every professor I have encountered at Texas State has been influential in my career through their excellent teaching and personal experiences,” Miller says. In particular, she adds, Dr. Novoa, Dr. Jesus Jimenez and Dr. Tongdan Jin really “pushed me beyond my limits and challenged me in my studies.”
One way Miller has pushed well beyond the normal bounds of college studies is through her internships. “Internships are a foot in the door and are a crucial component in what companies are looking for in employees,” she says. With that in mind, Miller has obtained multiple summer internships with General Electric.
“My internships have given me first-hand experience in observing everyday processes on the manufacturing floor and have enabled me to connect the dots between the classroom and what is actually being done,” Miller says.
Upon graduating from Texas State in December 2011, Miller hopes to start in the Operations Management Leadership Program at GE, a two-year program that rotates participants through several different functions in the company’s manufacturing process. She’d also like to attend graduate school once she has a few years of work experience.
As she moves toward her career, Miller is grounded in the university community that has helped her become so successful.
“I like the culture at Texas State more than anything. Although we are a large university of over 30,000 students, we are a close-knit school,” she says. “As the university grows, our bond with each other will only grow stronger.”