Young alumna finds joy, connection in mentorship

By Lauren Winton

Published: Mar 26, 2020 11:01:00 AM

Manda Tucker, '16 industrial and systems engineering Manda Tucker, '16 industrial and systems engineering

As a student, Manda Tucker, ’16 industrial and systems engineering, loved Auburn Engineering. Looking back, she says she “doesn’t remember sleeping much,” with late nights spent studying and preparing for projects. But even with the hours of work she put into her engineering degree, she loved every minute of it.

“I went to one of the first engineering camps when I was in high school, and Auburn gave me the opportunity to explore what engineering was at a young age. I was sold,” Tucker said. “It was a really cool experience.”

During her time in school, Tucker was a Cupola Engineering Ambassador. Her favorite part?

“Investing in other students,” she said. “I enjoyed helping other students, especially younger students.”

As an alumna, Tucker is still as passionate about Auburn Engineering as she was when in school. With her recent promotion to estimating team manager at Trane, Manda decided it was a good time to give back and reengage with her alma mater.

“Our area manager based out of Birmingham recommended that I get involved with 100+ Women Strong,” Tucker said. “He’s an alumnus of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, too.”

After learning more about the program, Tucker’s decision was easily made. In mid-March, she made the decision and joined 100+ Women Strong. Tucker said she is most excited about the opportunity to mentor other females in engineering.

“I had a lot of professors and alumni who crossed my path when I was in school,” Tucker said. “They were there for me as mentors and gave me a lot of good advice when trying to develop and grow. I would not have grown professionally as quickly I did if it were not for them.”

Tucker, who started at Trane as an intern, was hired as a sales engineer. Now, four years later, she manages a team of 15 in Alabama and Georgia who handle the new equipment estimates for both states. As both a manager and a 100+ Women Strong member, Tucker mentors, inspires and motivates others within her field.

“I remember when I was a student, there was so much confusion as to what an engineer actually did, and you’re getting all this information thrown at you and you didn’t understand what mattered and when. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m looking forward to helping calm those nerves,” Tucker said. “I want to help students see their goals, to anchor and adjust. I think Auburn does a good job of planting the seed of what it will be like for students once they graduate and in their professional careers. But from a professional standpoint, I want to reinforce those lessons and give encouragement.”

Tucker is thankful to have the mentorship opportunity through 100+ Women Strong. And she is thankful for her time at Auburn Engineering, and for the ways she learned to adapt and grow.

“Engineers are problem solvers,” Tucker said.

Through her support of 100+ Women Strong, Tucker solves problems. Her mentorship will mean new opportunities for female students and encouragement that they will succeed as engineers.

To learn more about 100+ Women Strong, contact Diane Sherrard, dtsherrard@auburn.edu.

Media Contact: Lauren Winton, lmw0090@auburn.edu, 334.844.5519

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