Jenna Joestgen

Jenna  Joestgen
  • BS Biomedical Engineering 2010

Why did you choose Michigan Tech?

It's an excellent engineering school, has a smaller student population, and has lots of activities to get involved with on campus and off campus.

Tell us about a memorable experience you had with a class or about a favorite professor?

I really enjoyed my Biomedical Engineering Senior Design project. Five biomeds were tasked to come up with a way to automate the tracking of hand-washing compliance in a hospital. While this sounded not very exciting at first blush, our solution and implementation of an RFID system to monitor this was very educational and really impressed the department.

Now, how about a memorable experience outside of class?

I loved working in the Admissions Office as a campus tour guide and campus tour coordinator. The people who work in the office were just a blast to work with and entertaining to no end. I'll also never forget the hours spent taping signs to sandwich boards and blowing up balloons at 5 am for Open House and Preview Day events on campus.

How well did Michigan Tech prepare you for your career?

Michigan Tech provided me the opportunity to take on various leadership roles in different student organizations. The need to communicate effectively and manage my time have really accelerated my career into a management path.

What was your first job after graduation and how has your career progressed?

After my third year, I was able to obtain an internship as a Test Engineer at Plexus. This turned into a full time position as a Product Engineer upon graduation from Tech. A few years into my engineering position, I was asked to be part of the inaugural class of a new leadership program designed to accelerate engineers into management positions. I served as a Project Manager for 1.5 years and had the opportunity to relocate to the NC branch to gain cross-site experience. Due to a small company reorganization, a new Functional Manager position was created for our Design for Excellence group. I was poked by upper management to apply and now I've been in the role for over a year and love it!

Why did you choose to become a member of the Board of Directors?

I loved my experience at Tech and my company is growing its love for graduates from Tech. The opportunity to give back to the university more than financially and find new opportunities for my company to help get involved seemed like a win-win opportunity.

Tell us about a few of your career highlights and notable achievements?

  • Worked on several product development teams for cutting edge medical devices for customers
  • Mentor for local FIRST Robotics Competition team since 2011
  • First graduate of the Engineering Business Leadership Program at Plexus
  • Graduate of the Dale Carnegie Skills for Success course
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner

What advice on being successful would you give to Tech students and young alumni?

Read, then re-read, then re-read again How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Communication is so important in all jobs and interactions. The philosophies in this book have, over the course of several years, become ingrained into my daily communication and helped launch me to my current management position as a result.

Would you share your philosophy of life?

If you are going to do something, give it everything you have and do it the best you can. Whether it's your career, a hobby, or family, don't just do it half-way.

Provided by Jenna Joestgen, September 30, 2016