Engineers Week Interview: Jen Rodgers
Jen Rodgers

What made you want to become an engineer?
Growing up, I liked to be challenged, create things, and to figure things out. I enjoyed puzzles, building with Legos, and taking things apart to see how they worked. I once disassembled a hairdryer and unfortunately it never worked again because I couldn’t put it back together exactly the right way. But even that experience was of value because sometimes you need to do some research or acquire additional knowledge or help in order to complete a task successfully.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I enjoy working with people. There is a specific job that I need to accomplish, but I’m surrounded by others who work as part of a team that I can call on to help solve problems and to learn from. Engineers don’t have to be stereotypical “geeks” sitting in cubicles punching numbers all day by themselves. But if you do have the privilege of working with some of those brilliant engineers, sometimes they turn out to be the most interesting people once you start talking to them.

What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about becoming engineers?
If you think that you’d like engineering, then give it a try! I’ve been in college courses and offices where I’m definitely a minority being a woman, but I’ve never felt out of place because I’ve had confidence in knowing that I’m where I’m supposed to be. Plus, a room full of men often can use a woman’s perspective! Men and women are wired differently and many times having both ways of thinking is helpful. Try not to feel intimidated and speak up when you have something to say.

What are you passionate about aside from engineering?
I have a husband, 2 boys, and a baby on the way that I am very passionate about. My career and company have graciously allowed me to spend additional time with my young children while they are not yet in school. I also enjoy volunteering with my church and other organizations as time allows. And I still love to create things, so doing crafts with my kids is a lot of fun, too. I can’t wait to help them with science fair projects!

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