Alumni Stories: Caroline Sellers Stewart | Avanti Polar Lipids


Caroline Sellers Stewart

Avanti Polar Lipids | Quality Assurance Engineer

Chemical Engineering 

What is your current role + company and how would you describe your responsibilities?

I work as a quality assurance engineer at Avanti Polar Lipids in Alabaster, AL. My responsibilities include everything from reviewing qualifications and equipment calibration documents to writing/executing facility protocols. I also revise standard operating procedures and user requirement specification documents. One thing that I love about the quality assurance department is that I have gotten training in a wide range of responsibilities. Depending on the day, I could be in a manufacturing suite overseeing a qualification or I could be revising a standard operating procedure. I love that my job is different every day!

How did you secure your position? What was your job search process like and were there any specific resources you found useful during your search (i.e. Handshake, career fairs, career coaches, other specific workshops or events)?

I got connected with Avanti through the Auburn Engineering career fair. I talked with Avanti representatives both in the fall and spring and that led to a second interview and, eventually, a job offer!

What were you looking for in your job search and how did you confirm the decision to accept your job offer?

I knew going into senior year that there were several industries I didn’t want to go into so it took some narrowing down and researching the various companies at the career fair. I’ve always been interested in the medical field, just not medicine itself, so the pharmaceutical industry was, and still is, the perfect fit. When I got the call from Avanti that they were offering me a full time position, I knew I had to accept immediately and I’m thankful I did!

What kinds of experiences in college helped you prepare for your full-time position? How so?

I think chemical engineering at Auburn really prepares you for anything. The classes and curriculum were very difficult; however, the problem-solving techniques we were taught can be applied in any industry and even in every day life.

What aspect(s) of your college experience do you feel best prepared you to join the workforce and succeed on the job?

The experiences I had in college that have made the biggest difference in my career were my failures at Auburn. The things I failed at in college, though not fun at the time, I now see as some of my biggest blessings. Failing, picking yourself back up, and trying again are invaluable tools. In life and at work, things do not always go according to plan. Learning to be flexible and patient (with yourself and with others) is key. I’m thankful that Auburn gave me safe environments to fail in and for the professors and peers that helped me get back up and try again.

What advice would you give to students as they begin to search for jobs?

My biggest advice is to do your research. Talk to as many companies as you can. You never know what jobs you will like until you meet the people who are doing them.


Published 10.2.2023