Stephanie Jantz

Computer Engineering, B.S. (2013)

Software Engineer - John Deere Electronic Solutions

Hometown: Maplewood, MN

Now lives in: Fargo, ND

Career path:

  • Fall 2011 – Accepted part time student position at John Deere Electronic Solutions
  • Spring 2013 – Graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering from NDSU
  • Summer 2013 – Started full time software engineering position at John Deere Electronic Solutions
  • January 2016 - Began MBA classes at University of Mary
  • Fall 2016 – Promoted to Software Engineer II
  • Spring 2018 – Graduated with an MBA from University of Mary
  • Spring 2018 – Given direct reports and given leadership position on team 

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

Family, specifically my father. He’s an engineer and instilled in me a love for math and logic growing up. My parents are excellent supporters and always said I could do whatever I set my mind to. 

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

I don’t really pay too much attention to it. Ironically, the only time I’ll take notice of it is when I’m in a non-engineering meeting and it’s strange to see so many women in the room. 

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

Pursue it and be fearless! Engineering is a fun career where you can be creative and make the world a better place.

What’s your best memory from NDSU?

Football games and a road trip, in a 7 person van, to Frisco, TX for the 2nd football championship.

How did your NDSU education prepare you for your career?

The engineering department does a great job of having projects you work on to really help you learn about the topics in a real-life scenario. Specifically the embedded design and senior project classes. 

What first got you interested in engineering?

My love of math, computers and design. I liked solving those story math problems that everyone else seemed to loathe. I liked making my MySpace page look cool by changing the HTML and CSS in middle school. When I first got to NDSU, my major was architecture, as I really loved designing houses in CAD software and thought it would integrate math and design well. After realizing there as a lot more art than math, I decided to switch majors to foster more of my interests. Involving computers was a no-brainer, as it was something that came easy to me. My father recommended adding engineering because regardless of the specific type of engineering major, just having "engineering" in the major can open up career opportunities. 

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

People seem to assume that I am not as knowledgeable as my male counterparts, especially if it’s anything hands-on or in the lab. Basically, I deal with mansplaining. I combat this by speaking up right away and letting the person know that I actually already understand and don’t need help.

What’s the biggest misconception about your job?

That I work alone on a computer all day. Not true! I work with my other team members daily, whether we are working through a code bug or reviewing someone’s code design. 

What advice would you give to female college students just getting started in the NDSU engineering program?

Network, join clubs (The Society of Women Engineers), and ask questions - don’t be afraid to approach first!

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