When Jennifer Brogdon joined Tennessee Tech University's co-op program with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), she had no idea that it would lead to a 28-year career with the company - or her current position as CEO and general manager of the Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation.
" Hearing about the co-op program and how strong it was at Tennessee Tech, really pushed me over the edge to go to Tech," Tech alumna, Jennifer Brogdon, said about her work experience and how Tech prepared her for the workplace among various other skills sets.
Becoming the general manager of Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation in 2021, Brogdon encourages other students to find the field that lets them achieve success.
"Engineering is a fabulous field. You got to pick somewhere, and why not pick somewhere you can have great success? A lot of engineers go on to become great subject matter experts. If you're interested in technology, innovation, engineering and design, and want to be an expert in your field, engineering is a great route to go."
She studied at Tech from 1991 to 1996.
"I just retired at TVA after 28 years of experience. I just took on the new role as CEO and GM of Upper Cumberland Electric in January 2021, so I've worked two places since I graduated from Tech."
"My time at Tech prepared me in large part due to the co-op experience. I spent a year at school and a year at TVA for two full years before I graduate. Also, my professors and friends that I met meant a lot to my career as well, and I had lots of great opportunities."
Tech's College of Engineering provides students with hands-on experience that prepares them for various fields of expertise.
"My career at TVA had a lot of different facets to it and a lot of different jobs. The first half of my career I was an environmental engineer, then I moved on into the marketing department, which was a big stretch for me, but I found it so exciting."
"I had so many different careers at TVA and I really think that Tennessee Tech helped prepare me for all that."
"The engineering program is big on solving problems. I think the engineering program prepares you to solve a lot of different problems and just learn to think."
Telling about her experience with the co-op program at Tech, Brogdon said, "I could go into the workplace and understand what the expectations were; my body and mind were acclimated to working. I had so many experiences with a lot of different people too when I finally went into the workplace full-time."
There are a plethora of occupations and skill sets that come with a degree in engineering, she said.
"You have a lot of different options and opportunities as an engineer, and a lot of different disciplines and interests. There's something out there for anybody that has a strong interest in math, science and has an interest in building things or solving problems."
She encourages others to consider engineering and the STEM field. Because, she said, not only do these areas open doors of opportunities, but they also allow students to achieve great success.