Featuring Ian Giese
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I grew up in Minnesota and graduated from Oklahoma State in December 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in IEM and a minor in Food Science. I currently live in Emporia, KS, where I will be starting a role as an Industrial Engineer III for Tyson Fresh Meats in April. I enjoy playing disc golf, riding my bicycle, and going to trivia, along with attending events hosted by the town. I am also the IISE Greater Kansas City Chapter President.
How has your IEM degree helped you? My degree in IEM helped develop communication and problem solving skills that have been useful in every step of my career. I may not have encountered a career problem from every class in my degree, but every career problem I have encountered needed communication and problem solving that were needed to be successful in class.
What aspects of your OSU affiliation while you were a student stand out? As an OSU student I was fortunate to participate in several organizations that provided opportunities in leadership roles. I was in the Residence Halls, Toastmasters, and most importantly, IISE. These organizations gave me a foundation for organization and working in groups for success, while also trying to bring together new events. My first opportunity was bringing the IISE Six Sigma Green Belt course to the University, which enrolled 50 participants the first year. This carried on to my professional career, as I organized an All-Kansas Conference that brought together the two professional and two student chapters of the state in the central location of Emporia. These organizational leadership positions have been experience to lean on when working on project teams in industry.
What has motivated you to stay engaged with OSU, years after graduation? I was raised to believe in giving back whenever possible. There were many people before me who contributed significantly to my success because they donated to the university or came back to provide mentorship. I believe carrying that tradition forward will provide opportunities for today's students to further the field of Industrial and Systems Engineering. To grow this opportunity further, we are founding an Early Career Alumni Council to fill the gaps between graduated students and the IAB and Cowboy Academy. We are looking forward to seeing where this can lead to connections between alumni and the university in the near future.
What do you think the future holds for the IEM student? The future is an open door of possibilities for an IEM student. The skills learned are transferable to any industry, because all of them are looking for the next way to run more efficiently and effectively. Attendees from the initial Early Career Alumni Council calls were all in different industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, accounting, oil and gas, software, and some were in different fields within those industries. Companies today are looking for people who want to develop into a variety of areas so they have a broad understanding of the industry, and Industrial and Systems Engineering students are best suited to meet that challenge because of the broad range of topics they learn about in their degree.
List one or two highlights of your career: In my most recent role, I had several amazing opportunities within the engineering team. I was able to help drive the production output of an existing line by 25% by analyzing the equipment and working with operations on the process flow. I also used the analysis of that line to provide input to the design of a new machine, which improved safety and ergonomics, reduced manpower and cycle time, and increased control of product quality.
Why is international exposure important for today’s engineers? How would they benefit from availing of study abroad opportunities? Today's engineers benefit from international exposure because of how interconnected the supply chain is and will become in the near future. By learning about new cultures now, today's engineers can understand the best way to communicate to each person or team they will be involved with in their work. It is rare for any product now to be made in a silo of a single location from start to finish. International exposure is also enriching in an engineer's personal life. I credit much of my personal development to experiences abroad that helped me break out of my comfort zone by communicating with people from the places I visited.