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Lisa Schilken

How she decided on industrial engineering: In college, Lisa was originally interested in aerospace engineering but eventually realized she lacked passion for the field. On the ski slopes one day she met another engineering student who told her about how industrial engineering “links practical results, business principles, and a human focus.” Lisa knew then that she'd found the field she had been looking for.

Communications skills: “In engineering, communication is huge. Probably the best thing I did in life was take a public speaking course. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate it to the drafters who put it on paper, it goes nowhere.”

Education: B.S. in industrial engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

Nothing happens without teamwork: “There are a lot of people in our team who have a really broad range of skills and a broad range of degrees and work histories. I go to them constantly for advice. Fresh eyes look at things in a different way. I am usually meeting with people or am out on the plant floor—I spend very little time at my desk.”

Hobbies: Swimming, surfing, playing guitar, and dancing (currently belly dancing). She is also training to work in an animal shelter.