Alumna Jasmine Oregel visited campus last fall to speak to students in the Engineering Studies Department. Currently working at American Honda Motor Co, Inc. in Troy, Ohio, as a Packaging Engineer II, Oregel was uniquely suited to the task as she challenged students in classes to reproduce a package design she supplied.
“I wanted them to understand the importance of workplace communication,” says Oregel of the exercise, which split students into groups by gender and gave them only a few minutes and a limited number of questions they could ask her about the assignment to complete it.
When the exercise was done, Oregel drew attention to the way in which the female group communicated collaboratively while the male group communicated more competitively.
This exercise in communication is such an important one, Oregel says, because it is the kind of thing that will make or break an employee’s success in the workplace.
“Different ways of communicating are important for your adaptability to any task given you at work,” she adds. “If you’re not aware of the way someone is talking to you or the impact of your words, then it’s possible you might miss something that will help you complete the task more efficiently.”
As a former first-generation college student whose family is originally from Mexico, and now based in Santa Ana, California, Oregel takes her education and career-preparedness seriously, and says she was excited about the opportunity to come back to campus and pass on the lessons she has learned to current students.
As a packaging engineer at Honda, Oregel’s responsibilities vary widely and change from month to month. Generally, she works to improve the quality, cost, delivery, and environmental performance of the packaging used for all the products and service components the company produces. At times she takes on leadership roles, and often she finds herself needing to work cross-functionally with different teams, including traveling to different cities in order to meet with suppliers.
While Oregel’s B.S. in packaging science from RIT in 2013 qualified her for the position (she also earned an A.A.S. in CAD in 2008), she especially credits fulfilling her co-op requirement at RIT with furnishing her with the work experience she needed to establish her as a good candidate.
“Do a co-op. Anywhere, doing anything,” she advises. “Do a co-op. Whatever you do, you will gain knowledge and experience from it, and with that, build yourself up and be more ready to tackle the next bigger thing.”
“Do it,” she insists, referring to any goal any student or newly minted graduate might secretly harbor. “Be patient, don’t listen to people who say no, grab opportunities to show your skills, but if it’s your passion, do it. Go for it!”
Oregel will be returning to campus April 14 and 15 to give further presentations as part of a continued effort to encourage current female students to pursue studies in STEM fields.