Bachelor's Degree from Point Park Helps Alumna Advance Her Engineering Career Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Meet Michelle Choo Loeffler
Job title: Senior Project Engineer
Employer: Intertek USA
Degrees earned: B.S. in electrical engineering technology, Point Park University, 2008, and A.S. in electrical drafting and design technology, New River Community College, 1986
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Now living in: Cottage Grove, Minn.
Hobbies/interests: Running, exercising, lifting weights, drawing and spending time with my family
LinkedIn: Michelle Loeffler
What made Point Park's electrical engineering technology program stand out to you?
When I first moved to Pittsburgh, I worked for Medrad, which is now Bayer. They offered an 80 percent tuition reimbursement plan. I heard that Point Park accepted most credits from community colleges and Dr. Keller was highly recommended by my colleagues. Also, the fact that Point Park's engineering technology programs are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET influenced my decision.
How has your bachelor's degree helped you achieve career success?
It helped a lot. While I was still in school, Dr. Keller connected me to a professional who was looking to hire electrical engineers, particularly someone with a background in design. Dr. Keller knew how hard I worked and recommended I contact this person. I was offered a job with this company after two interviews. I approached the president at Medrad about the offer I received and asked what my chances were of becoming an engineer after I earned my bachelor's degree. Four months after graduation, I was promoted to the position of verification and validation engineer. I would not have gotten that position without my degree from Point Park.
What are your key responsibilities as a senior project engineer for Intertek?
We are a medical device certification house. I work with our many different medical device clients from around the country. I write test plans and reports and supervise the technicians who are testing the products. I determine if the products meet the safety standards and then inform the clients. In the end, I give the final blessing to clients to sell their products in Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
Describe the teaching style of the engineering technology professors.
The professors, especially Dr. Keller, had a very hands-on teaching style. They were very much there for me when I needed help. The professors were also very understanding of students who were working during the day and going to school at night.
How did you balance going to work and school full time?
My boyfriend William (who is now my husband) was very encouraging and understanding during this really busy time. I had a stressful day job and was going to school at night. Often the only time we saw each other was at the gym for an hour! It worked out fine though. He knew that getting my bachelor's degree was important to me and stood by that. He's my number one fan.
What are your career goals?
My next goal is to become a reviewer here at Intertek in which I would mentor young engineers and review their reports.
What's your advice for women pursuing engineering careers?
Don't ever give up. It's never too late to go back to school. Being a woman in engineering can be tough sometimes. Luckily, I have a great team of guys who I work with at Intertek. My advice is to just keep going and don't give up. That's what I tell my kids, too.