At Sentry Equipment, we’re committed to creating a forward-thinking company that respects the employee-owner experience while embracing fresh perspectives. That’s what intern Nikole Trudeau and co-op Isabelle Yoshizaki have learned through interning at Sentry Equipment headquarters.
Nikole joined Sentry Equipment in October 2016 as an electrical engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She heard about the company through her high school robotics club, where the team leader encouraged her to apply for an internship due to her interest in electrical engineering.
Isabelle first heard of Sentry Equipment through a career development class during her sophomore year at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she’s majoring in mechanical engineering. She joined the company in 2019 through the school’s engineering co-op program.
Three things they'd take on a deserted island:
“A paddleboard and paddle, a lighter and matches, and a book series.” – Nikole
A lighter and matches, a working phone, and a boat to get off the island.” – Isabelle
What do they do when they're not working?
“I love to be outdoors – watersports, hiking, cross-country and downhill skiing.” – Nikole
“Hike when it’s warm, watch movies, and enjoy time with my friends.” – Isabelle
If you could be or do anything else, what would it be?
“Travel the world and experience as many different forms of life as possible.” – Nikole
“Own a bakery or coffee shop.” – Isabelle
A Range of Possibilities
Despite wanting to be a stunt driver at one point in her life, Nikole chose engineering for its wide variety of opportunities in many industries. Isabelle was initially interested in being an artist or ballerina but landed in engineering for similar reasons. “Engineering shows you how to think critically and opens me up to many opportunities,” says Isabelle.
As student workers, they work closely with a team of engineers in the Quality Assurance (QA) department to work on products going through DMR/non-conformance processes. They’re charged with testing all affected items, including anything in stock or shop floor, for quality assurance.
They’ve also learned how to process and coordinate with other departments on returned goods (RMAs) to guarantee customer satisfaction. Nikole and Isabelle then collaborate with various departments, such as machining and engineering, to fix these problems. Job tasks can be as simple as measuring tools or as complicated as running QA machines.
“No project is off-limits,” says Nikole.
Nikole adds that she can approach anyone in the company for help. “I can go to anyone in the company, and they will patiently and thoughtfully answer questions.”
They’ve learned to be proactive with projects. Still, they know when to ask questions while gaining valuable experience effectively and respectfully communicating to various people within the company through company team-building meetings.
“I’ve learned how to manage my time by holding myself accountable for the tasks I have been given. Even if there are no hard-stop deadlines, being able to gauge progress and adapt my schedule for multiple tasks at once has been vital,” says Nikole.
Women in STEM
Nikole and Isabelle credit Sentry Equipment with supporting and promoting their passion for engineering. They are also expanding their view of where their skills could lead them in a career. “I’ve found enjoyment in quality. It has shown me that electrical engineering and quality can work hand in hand,” says Nikole.
Nikole has also found inspiration from several organizations, including these organizations promoting women in STEM careers, the Society of Women Engineers (SWM), and the SWM at UWM.
They both believe that mentorship, especially for women, is critical to succeeding in a career in the engineering field. “Talk to established women engineers. They understand where you are starting and where you can go,” says Nikole.
“Don’t be intimidated or discouraged to talk to other engineers,” adds Isabelle.
Wherever they begin their respective careers, they’re grateful for the experience to contribute their knowledge and expertise at Sentry Equipment. “The culture here is what makes the company great and is why a lot of people want to come to work every day,” says Isabelle.
Employee-Owner Profiles is a regular feature that highlights members of our team. As an employee-owned company, Sentry Equipment believes that employee ownership makes a difference. Our employee-owners are dedicated to hard work, positive results and continual improvement and innovation to provide our customers the highest quality products and services.