Congratulations to Alexander Nunnally, ’16, MS ’17, who was selected to receive the On The Rise Award by PMMI’s The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Emerging Leaders Committee. Alexander has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET). He is currently a business analyst at the large packaging corporation, ProMach Inc. in Covington, Kentucky.
Alexander gained two important principles from his experience in college and he shared them with CEET:
1. Being able to solve problems effectively is a skill you can take to any job. “Whether you are in AutoCAD, excel spreadsheet, boardroom, or operating room, the ability to problem-solve effectively is critical. At NIU, the professors and faculty force you to think outside the box for solutions. After leaving NIU, this becomes even more important because you have to consider things that you may have not been subject to in university (the bureaucracy of business, strict product launch dates, etc.). Being able to problem solve in any situation the main reason I am in the position I am today,” he said.
2. Always do more than what is asked of you. “Go above and beyond. Typically, this statement goes hand in hand with long hours and lots of hair pulling! However, a strong work ethic and pristine work quality is noticed and will take you far. At NIU, this is seen with big class projects (solo or in a group). There were projects that I didn’t give 100% to and it was reflected; there were also projects where I gave 110% that got me RA and TA positions. These positions went on to impress future employers during the application interviews and so the cycle continues! In my capacity as a Business Analyst, going above and beyond on projects has saved my company several times on features that were overlooked during early versions” he said.
His advice for today’s students is to be approachable.
“One of the biggest drivers in my career so far is that people will often reach out to me on difficult projects because they know I will listen, give honest feedback, and provide auxiliary support. The simple idea of making your yourself approachable is a basic way to develop inter-company networking and boost your reputation,” said Nunnally.
For more information about CEET visit niu.edu/ceet.