Q: Tell us a bit about yourself…
Jennifer: I am a civil engineer with my EI and am originally from Council Bluffs. I attended the University of Iowa. While earning my undergraduate, I worked a part-time job driving campus and party busses, which I still do on the weekends. I have three black cats and participate in Engineers Without Borders and Toastmasters.
Q: Why did you want to become an Engineer?
Jennifer: I honestly didn’t know that I wanted to be an engineer. I went to college interested in a field where I could solve problems, be creative, and utilize STEM, which came naturally to me. Originally, I considered chemical engineering, but quickly realized that it was more memorization than problem solving. I also liked the idea of being able to design something and see it come to fruition.
Q: What piece of advice would you give someone choosing the same career?
Jennifer: I would recommend finding a company that you fit well within. Also, don’t be afraid to move on if you don’t think you’re learning what you need to know to develop into the best professional you can be.
Q: Which section of the bookstore / library is your favorite?
Jennifer: My favorite section of the bookstore are the fantasy and science fiction sections. I love being able to escape into alternate realities and potentially challenge my view of the world. There tend to be common themes of staying true to oneself, becoming self-aware, and rising above situations or people that are challenging.
Q: What is your favorite practical advice you’ve been given?
Jennifer: I think the “KISS” acronym is something everyone should keep in mind, from clients to designers. “Keep It Simple (Silly)”. The simplest answer is usually the best answer. Adding unnecessary complexity can take a straight-forward problem and quickly turn it into a nightmare. Break it down, find the easy answers, and make sure there are no complications. From there, pick one or two aspects where it makes sense to be innovative and forward thinking in your design.
Q: If you could become any animal you want, which one would you be and why?
Jennifer: I would have to say a wolf. I have always had a strong attachment to wolves; the pack structure, hierarchy, their view of the world, and just general approach to everything.