Class of 1999
“I got an exposure to engineering that I respect and use to this day, but I found a passion that worked for me.”
As the IT Director at Briggs and Stratton, it is Sarah Alt’s job to successfully deliver information technology products to the company as a whole. So it’s ironic that when she came to MSOE she didn’t even know what the Internet was. “I didn’t send my first email until I was in a lab my freshman year. At that time, my mom knew more about the Internet than I did,” she joked.
Alt originally pursued biomedical engineering at MSOE before switching to technical communication her junior year. “I got an exposure to engineering that I respect and use to this day, but I found a passion that worked for me,” she noted. “I ultimately chose to major in TC because I was good at it and I enjoyed putting the extra effort into it. I saw a personal value in giving TC all of my academic energy.”
She loved being able to combine her academic obligations with outside interests like athletics and extracurricular activities. “My MSOE degree represents years of challenging coursework, difficult decisions, personal growth, teamwork, dedication, passion, sweat (especially on the gym floor), and yes, even tears, that prepared me for my career. My degree opened doors that I was not even aware were opportunities for me.”
Her relationship with MSOE didn’t end after graduating. She continued to be involved with the university, serving on the technical communication advisory board and as president of the Alumni Association. “My continued relationship with the university has afforded me the opportunity for lifelong learning, mentoring of others, and working with talented students and professors. I continue to serve MSOE because I believe I am responsible for MSOE’s growth and sustainability for the future. I started my career with MSOE and owe much of my success to what I learned, how I learned it and with whom I worked. It is my duty to help MSOE do the same for others.”
Alt offers this advice for current students: “When you get that feeling you might be headed in the wrong direction for you personally, or turning into something that you don’t want to be, trust your instincts and trust your network to help.”