Bronco Spotlight: Lexi Stoneburner

Photo of Lexi Stoneburner

Bachelor of Science in paper engineering, 2015

Current Job Title:

Senior Process Engineer 

Current Employer:

Appvion

Describe your current job:

As a senior process engineer I have the opportunity to take on larger tasks and projects to make production more efficient. I look at a variety of areas within production and make recommendations to improve the quality of the process, or to make the process more cost effective.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding thing is when you struggle to solve a problem but finally have that breakthrough moment and figure it out. The most challenging can be the “always on-call” nature of a 24/7 manufacturing facility. Sometimes you may have to give up an evening or weekend, but it all balances out in the end!

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path? 

As a graduate of the paper engineering program at WMU, the Paper Technology Foundation played a vital role in getting me where I am today. From day one on campus I felt the overwhelming support that the PTF offered to me. Scholarships were of course a huge help as they allowed me to attend school in the first place. Many of my peers had to work full time while also attending class. I was fortunate to have these scholarships to cover me, and I could focus on being a student. In addition to the scholarships were funding to attend professional events such as TAPPI Student Summit and PaperCon. My first time on an airplane was thanks to this PTF funding so that I could attend a student summit. These events were full of networking with industry professionals, resume building, interviews and mill tours. Without a doubt, these experiences led me to obtaining my eight-month co-op and two summer internships. When it came time to interview for full-time positions, not only did I know what I wanted to do but I also knew what I didn’t want to do. This is huge for someone getting ready to start their career. I felt steps ahead of my peers in other engineering disciplines who were struggling through the process. I was able to graduate from WMU with 16 months of industry work experience and was hired on as “Senior Process Engineer” for my full-time role rather than an entry level process engineer. When I started my job I was able to jump right in to projects and contributing to the business. I am so grateful to WMU and the Paper Technology Foundation for investing in me and providing the support I needed to get to where I am today.

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?

Get involved. Go on the field trips and meet with industry employers. Take the opportunity to do an internship and co-op.

See other Spotlights