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From South Africa to Appleton, a former ITW intern pursues her passions

"My love for learning and solving problems with my peers keeps me excited and motivated to come to work every day." – Sandra Cvetanovic, Electrical Engineer at Miller Electric’s Commercial Solutions Division

When Sandra Cvetanovic moved to the United States to begin her college studies, she had no idea what welding was, or that she was even interested in engineering. By pursuing her passion for math and physics, Sandra’s love for learning inspires her work.

How did you first become interested in STEM, and how did that interest lead you to a career at Miller Electric?

I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, and I was recruited to play on the tennis team at Michigan Tech. I chose to major in electrical engineering because I wanted to study math and physics. Before I started college, I didn’t know what engineering was. I found my internship with Miller Electric during an on-campus career fair.

Out of the 300+ companies that came to the fair, the people and opportunities at Miller stood out. Before I started my internship, I didn’t know what welding was, but I quickly learned how impactful welding is to the world around us.

What was the best part of your internship?

The best thing about my internship was how much I learned. My manager did a great job giving me a wide range of projects, so I was learning new skills beyond my degree and understanding the full scope of how products were made. I especially liked that I was able to work on the manufacturing floor and really get close to the product.

I loved talking to everyone at Miller and learning about the welding industry. Even though it is something I had never been exposed to prior to my internship, I am continuously interested and amazed by its impact on the world. Overall, I really love the products we make, and the people who make them.

What is your current role?

I am an Electrical Engineer at Miller Electric’s Commercial Solutions Division. I work with products that have already been released or that are about to be released. My role includes facilitating product launches and troubleshooting newly launched machines, more specifically printed circuit boards, to identify supplier quality concerns and design or warranty issues. My time is split evenly between the office, the production floor and the engineering lab.

What makes you excited to go to work every day?

My favorite part of my job is being in the lab focused on root-cause analysis. Sometimes it is quick and painless, other times the issues are very complicated, but the challenging issues are the most fun and I learn the most from them.

When I troubleshoot, I learn a lot about different circuits and the thought process that did or did not go into the design—it’s all in the details. Because I work with such a wide variety of machines, I also get to work with people on the line who build the machines, and I love that social aspect of my job.

What is the culture like at Miller Electric?

The culture at Miller is very collaborative, everyone is always helping each other, and all my colleagues have been wonderful teachers. Some of the best advice I received from one of my mentors here was that when you find a new problem, instead of being grouchy about it, you should embrace it, because you are learning something new by solving it. I love learning new things, so for me, this is key. My love for learning and solving problems with my peers keeps me excited and motivated to come to work every day.

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