Madison (Fain) Steffel enjoys the ability her chemical engineering degree gave her to help people through her work.
“At first, I chose chemical engineering because I enjoyed chemistry and math in school,” the 2019 Trine University graduate said. “I stayed in the program because I was motivated by the opportunity to learn to use my creativity and technical skills for good – whether it was applying those skills to a homework problem or designing a process that could produce helpful items for others.”
"My education helped me to learn to think critically and how to decide what questions I needed to ask to make a decision."- Madison (Fain) Steffel
Today, Madison works for Pfizer as a manufacturing engineer in a rotational engineering program, which gives her the opportunity to rotate through different roles and production facilities.
“I currently work in a drug product facility, where we formulate, fill, inspect and package sterile injectables,” she said. “My responsibilities include troubleshooting processes, investigating incidents, and driving projects that improve our ability to safely make critical medications.”
Madison chose to attend Trine because she knew its small class sizes would allow her to get to know professors as well as classmates.
“I also enjoyed the small-town atmosphere of Angola; I loved being close to so many beautiful lakes and a state park,” she said. “Looking back, the community atmosphere is one of the things I treasured most while I was at Trine.”
She began working at Pfizer right after she graduated. She said the co-op and two internships she completed while a Trine student, combined with the engineering education she received, gave her the engineering skills and the soft skills to feel confident as she began her career.
“The hands-on experience provided helped me to feel comfortable with troubleshooting challenges on the production floor and thinking on my feet,” she said. “The lab experience helped me to learn how to quickly understand what is happening in a system or piece of equipment. A lot of my work involves technical writing, which I had no shortage of practice with in classes. Most of all, my education helped me to learn to think critically and how to decide what questions I needed to ask to make a decision.
“I’d advise anyone in school to pursue internships and co-ops. They help you gain a better understanding of potential careers, while also giving you networking and technical experience.”