August 8, 2013

LSU mechanical engineering alumnus featured on Dow Chemical Company billboards around Baton Rouge 

When Jeremy Jenkins talks about his job, it’s very clear he loves being a mechanical engineer with Dow Chemical Company.

“I like a lot of aspects of my role,” said Jenkins, one of several Dow employees featured on billboards around the Baton Rouge area. “I like that I have so much responsibility. I am trusted. I am given an area, and I have some freedom to pick and choose the projects I work on. I am trusted to make the right decisions. You’re empowered. It’s funny, because that is what the billboard says. It’s the truth.”

A Baton Rouge native, Jenkins always knew he would attend LSU, and his mom will tell you he started talking about LSU when he was 3 years old. Jenkins didn’t know he wanted to be an LSU engineer until his senior year at Tara High School. His calculus teacher challenged his class to write a report on what they wanted to do, the skills they would need for the career and the opportunities that career would provide. 

“I took a look at my skill set and started doing some research. I fell on mechanical engineering. I did my report on that. It was a good fit for me. It was perfect. It all lined up for me,” Jenkins said.

While at LSU, Jenkins worked for the Minority Engineering Program in addition to participating in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). His plan was to do three internships with three different companies while he was earning his engineering degree, but his experience didn’t go the way he expected.

“I went to Pittsburgh to get a job in my backyard,” Jenkins said with a laugh. “I was at the National Society of Black Engineers national convention in 2006, and I started talking with a person from Dow. That led to my first internship with the company back in Louisiana.”

The next summer, Jenkins landed an internship with Intralox, a global provider of conveyance solutions and services, outside New Orleans in 2007. Then, he returned to Dow.

“I ended up running into someone I worked with at Dow, and they convinced me to go back. I did another internship with them in 2008,” Jenkins said.

It was a decision that stuck. After his second internship, Jenkins signed on to work at Dow full time following graduation. Four years later, he has several memorable projects under his belt.

“I’m not just saying this, I really enjoy working with this company. They have provided me an opportunity to go to Europe twice, first as a trainee and then as a trainer for leadership and problem solving techniques. I’ve been on two billboards, and I’ve been able to change roles,” Jenkins said.

Despite his work with Dow and being a new father, Jenkins still makes time to give back to LSU, serving on the Diversity Advisory Board.

“I don’t think I could have been as successful as I have been without the support of the Minority Engineering Program,” Jenkins said. “They helped me with travel to conferences, with professionalism, with my resume, with so much. I think at a minimum I can help someone else with the same. On top of that, I have a passion for people to succeed. I had what it took to make it, but I needed someone to guide me. I think there are a lot of people like that out there. Now that I have the tools, I can help teach people.”

Jenkins said his advice to young engineers is to understand or make sure you have the mindset that you will have challenges, but that doesn’t mean that you should quit.

“Finish the program with no regrets. When I say that, I mean give it 150 percent. Remember, it is not easy. If it was easy, everybody would do it,” he said.

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Article written by Laura Stuart, Coordinator of External Relations, Office of the Dean. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, mlavall@lsu.edu or (225) 578-5706. 

 




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