Janelle Mauch

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, B.S. (2013)

Design Engineer - Bobcat Company

Hometown: Mantador, ND

Now lives in: Mantador, ND

Career path: The summer of my Sophomore year I accepted a quality engineering internship with John Deere on the forestry equipment line in Dubuque, Iowa. Junior year, I went on to do another summer internship with John Deere as a manufacturing engineer on the tillage line in Valley City, ND. Senior year I accepted a full-time position with Bobcat Company as a Design Engineer in Gwinner, ND. I worked part time in my spring semester at the NDSU office for Bobcat, then went to Gwinner full-time after I graduated, where I currently reside as a Design Engineer. 

What or who inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

My biggest inspiration was farming with my dad in high school. I gained a very strong mechanical background by fixing equipment and that sparked an interest in how things work! I learned so much working alongside my dad, and it really is what drove me to pursue engineering. 

What’s it like being a woman in a male-dominated field?

At first, it was a shock at being one of the only women in the class and I felt intimidated. But now, I don’t even notice it in the workplace. I became best friends with many of the guys in college and at work! We frequently bounce ideas off each other and work as a team. I look at it this way, you are in this field because you have a passion for it, you’re good at it, and it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female because everyone has different talents and ideas that they bring to the table.

What advice would you give to young girls interested in engineering?

Get involved! Join clubs such as robotics, or anything STEM related to start getting a feel for what you really enjoy, as there are so many different areas of engineering.

What’s your best memory from NDSU?

The people! I made lifelong friendships at NDSU. The ABEN department, from faculty to classmates, became like family to me.

How did your NDSU education prepare you for your career?

NDSU was great about bringing in employers to speak at club meetings or even during a class to talk about their day-to-day tasks. We also went on a few tours of local manufacturing/processing facilities. I felt these “out of classroom” activities were the most beneficial to see the real-world application of what you are learning in the classroom. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced being a woman in engineering? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I’ve had, is being confident. As a woman in engineering I second guess myself many times and am scared to be wrong. I struggled with speaking up in meetings if I had an opinion on something but feared the reaction I would get if no one agreed. A lot of my confidence now, has come from just being more comfortable with what I’m doing and the longer I’ve worked here the more knowledge I’ve gained. I have attended many empowering seminars and leadership meetings as well!

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