Kimmy's Success Story

There are a multitude of reasons why a person chooses to attend a particular university. Reasons to attend OU's School of Engineering and Computer Science are as numerous as the students themselves. Each month the SECS will feature a new "Student Success" story on our homepage. Be sure to check back often to see the new featured student or alumni and read why they chose SECS.

Kimmy's Success Story
Kimmy Romstad is an Industrial and Systems Engineering major. She will graduate this year.

What is your background?
My name is Kimmy Romstad. I have lived in Rochester Hills, Michigan, my entire life. I went to Rochester High School, and then went on to Oakland University after graduation. I am an Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) major at OU, and I'm also pursuing a minor in German language. I am very active on campus even though I'm a commuter; I have held officer positions in multiple student organizations within SECS.

What were the circumstances surrounding the moment you realized you wanted to become an industrial engineer?
Once I heard about all of the variety of industries ISE can be applied to, I was instantly intrigued. I knew I didn't want to work in the auto industry or program robots or anything of the sort as a career. I knew I was good at problem solving and critical thinking, but my interests and passions extended beyond that of "typical engineering environments." I want to work with people, and I want to improve the quality of whatever I'm working on. This is what ISE is all about.

Did you always think that you had what it takes to go into this line of work?
No, when I graduated from high school I went towards engineering, but I had no idea what each type of engineering (field) was about. I also had no idea if I would be capable of completing such a rigorous academic program. Once I decided to go to Oakland University, I did some research on the engineering degree programs offered, and discovered mechanical or industrial engineering were most suitable for me.

What is so exciting about ISE?
Working in health care or in the amusement park industry. Knowing that you had a part in improving the quality of someone's visit in either situation is just a good feeling. We've all been in a hospital, we've all been to an amusement park. We all know how much it pains us to wait at either one. In a hospital, you're worried about your health and you want results as soon as possible. At an amusement park, you pay outrageous amounts of money to get in, and you don't want to spend all your time there waiting in line. This is why these industries need ISE; to make their processes more efficient, and thus, increase customer satisfaction! It's exciting because we can all relate to it, and we all benefit from it!

What attracted you to Oakland University?
I began college during the recession in 2008, so my financial situation played a very large part in my decision of where to go to college. I considered applying for U of M, however, I was worried about going away to school and spending all of that money my first year. I decided if I stay local, I can save money and get comfortable with college life, and then transfer to another school in a couple of years if I choose to. However, once I made some friends at OU and learned more about their engineering program and their fantastic career placement prospects, I was sure that I didn't want to go to any other school. OU has a small community feel that you wouldn't get at a bigger school. I know all of my professors and they know me, too. I got to know all of my classmates, and I didn't see new faces every time a new semester started. I like this about OU. I like making lifelong friends and getting to know people.

Describe some of your favorite teachers at OU.
From the ISE department, I have had the pleasure of having multiple inspirational professors. Their industry experience was incorporated into the subjects of the courses they taught, so I learned a lot about the applications of ISE concepts in the "real world."

Besides textbook information, what else did you learn through your experience at OU?
I learned a lot about being a leader through all of my experiences in student organizations. I learned about marketing, communication, and how to be effective at getting people to help you accomplish a goal. It has also helped me to overcome my shyness because I had to meet a lot of different people and present in front of them. Also, I have learned a lot about networking through student organizations. It's a very important skill and many students don't get a chance to practice it if they aren't involved in organizations on campus that have professional chapters.

What do you do for your job?
Currently, I am a Manufacturing Intern at Faurecia Interior Systems. I have recently accepted an offer for a fall Industrial Engineering and Workforce Management Internships with Walt Disney World, which I am very much looking forward to!!

How has your education at OU prepared you for your job?
I learned a lot about lean manufacturing in my ISE classes, and that is used a lot at my current job. Also, knowledge of industrial robots and manufacturing processes has helped out.

Would you recommend that prospective students consider OU for an ISE degree?
Yes. It's a great place for ISE because of the connection with companies, such as Chrysler, right on campus. OU's program is very good at teaching you concepts you will actually use on the job, and tools that are very useful in local industry. The education you will get from Oakland University will be more valuable than you will get at any other institution in the state, in my opinion.

What advice would you offer prospective students?
Make sure you contact advising if you have any questions about a major you're considering. Ask them if they can pair you up with a student mentor in that field to answer your questions. Once you have a good idea of what you want to do, attend Engineering and Computer Science Day and learn about what OU can offer you for that degree!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
OU is a great school and I'm glad I didn't go anywhere else. I have heard horror stories about other universities that treat their students as "nothing but a number." I have never felt this way at Oakland, and I am grateful for that.