Name: Erika Stensberg
Title: Process Improvement Engineer Intern
University: Milwaukee School of Engineering

What inspired you to pursue an internship with Didion?

Last summer, I worked for an architecture firm, making edits to drawings. Although I learned a lot, the career path was not for me, and I finished my internship at the architecture firm wanting to do something completely different the next summer.

I discovered Didion Milling while I was going through the list of companies at my university’s career fair. I read what Didion does and saw on their website that they were an above and beyond company with their famine relief and team members. Days up to the career fair, I saw on social media that Didion would be at the career fair and wanted to meet with potential interns. Any company to goes that far just to find interns just for the summer has my attention.

What is your main focus as a Process Improvement Engineer Intern?

My internship started with a focus on safety at the mill and the facility at Johnson Creek. I now work on projects with my mentor, Nathan, that are critical to the Cambria’s mill. An example of a project I have completed is switching out the old air compressor at the mill as well as at Johnson Creek.

How does your experience compliment your studies?

My experience with Didion has taken what I learned in school a step further. In school, I have learned how to pick fans based on criteria. At Didion, I have learned how to verify if a fan will work or hinder another.

Going to a trimester university, Milwaukee School of Engineering prepared me for the fast pace Didion has and to be prepared for unexpected twist and turns in my day.

What have you enjoyed the most about your internship with Didion?

My favorite part of my internship is the variety. Even doing an installation of the same equipment multiple times has variety and different complications. For example, installing an air compressor at both the Cambria Mill and the Johnson Creek facilities brought up different factors and challenges I had to consider.

What new trainings/skills have you acquired through your experience?

During this internship, I have learned OSHA standards for motor guards, how to organize an installment of machinery, and the way to your team’s heart is food.

Looking ahead to the future, what are your career goals?

After not falling in love with my architecture internship last summer, I have been focused on finding a career path that I enjoy. Didion has shown me a more exciting side of engineering, and I can see my future as a project engineer.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be?

I would love to have dinner with Catherine the Great of Russia because she took Russia, which was seen at the time as a barbaric country, and brought it into a Golden Age through conquest, foreign relations, literature, arts, and education. I would love to talk with Catherine about her process of improving Russia, the coup she organized to take the throne in the 6 months of her husband ascending to the throne, and the dedication she had to a country she wasn’t born in. (Catherine the Great was born in Germany and married into the Russian royal family.)