Engineering majors benefit from part-time jobs

Leadership, teamwork and communication skills are just a few of the several bonuses of working through college

Rebecca Welsh and Michael Camis pose in their work uniforms.

Lindsey Overby photo

Rebecca Welsh and Michael Camis pose in their work uniforms.


Two industrial engineering students at University of Wisconsin-Platteville have found benefits in their part-time jobs relating to their major and future careers. Senior industrial engineering major Michael Camis is an assistant manager at Platteville Domino’s, and junior industrial engineering major Rebecca Welsch is a store associate at Nelson True Value in her hometown of Prairie Du Chien, WI.

Camis and Welsch, who are working part-time while pursuing their engineering degree’s, discussed the ways in which working in food service and at a home improvement store has offered them skills, organization and other benefits useful to the industrial engineering field. As well as making them more employable once entering into their careers.

“At Dominos, I work as an Assistant Manager and partially as a delivery expert,” Camis said. “My job duties consist of managing the floor, assigning tasks to insiders and delivery experts and watching and preparing money flow.” Camis is also responsible for preparing food for daily service and making orders for the job.

“At Dominos everything is a matter of seconds from the time a customer places their order till they receive it,” General Manager of Platteville Domino’s Nate Holland said. “With that being said, I am always looking for a way to save a few seconds here and there. As an industrial engineering student, Mike has been an extremely valuable asset. He has been able to help identify and reduce bottlenecks in the store. This includes everything from storage placement to production. I can say we are a faster company because of the skills from industrial engineers.”

Camis works 15-hours a week and has learned even more about his major while being on the job. “What I learn at Dominos that pertains to industrial engineering is systems and consistently improving them little by little,” Camis said. “Whether its putting food trays in different places, separating big tasks into sub tasks to increase efficiency, or analyzing daily stats to make key decisions, they all help me grow in my career and my academics. I also learn good communication skills, even when it’s just with a happy customer versus an upset customer. It’s taught me to not only be patient but to stay professional and always represent the company in a positive way.”

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is organized by the U.S. Department of Education, found that students whom are working part-time, one to 15-hours a week, have a substantially higher GPA than students whom are working 16 or more hours, or not working at all.

“I am a firm believer that this is a fantastic job for college aged individuals, especially if they have moved to a new town to attend school,” Holland said.  The pay is good and the hours are flexible. Being in a delivery business you also learn a lot about the town and meet a lot of people in a quick time.  You also have an instant crew of people that you can reach out to when family may be a little far away.  As far as skills, employee’s gain: leadership, teamwork, responsibility, and commitment to name a few.”

Rebecca Welsch is a store associate at Nelson True Value in Prairie Du Chien, WI where she works 12-hours a week.

“At True Value, I either am a cashier at the register, or on the floor helping customers and restocking shelves,” Welsch said. “I started out as a carryout, which meant I would bring customers items to their cars, or help them load large items. In addition, performing the closing chores at night. Another function as carryout was assembling grills, lawn furniture, etc.  When a cashier position opened, my manager asked if I would like to be trained in that area, which then led me to my current position.”

According to, “Industrial Engineers help improve the productivity of all types of companies by designing tasks, systems, and products, which are more efficient, safe, profitable, and make better use of resources. There are more than 200,000 industrial engineers working in the United States- making it one of the five largest engineering disciplines.”

Several months into the position, Welsch realized that the work she was doing at True Value related to her degree and said the benefits she has gained helped her learn and grown in communication and mechanical skills.

“I learned a lot of communication skills, whether that was working with customers or other employees as part of a team. It became normal talking with strangers and making small talk, which is a great asset to have when entering the workforce,” Welsch said.

Welsch also learned to assemble grills, learned more about inventory, as well as how to rearrange shelves so they made more sense internally and externally.

“Between assembling, improving, and inventory changes I started really to connect industrial engineering with my job,” Welsch said.