Amber Nyssen’s biggest takeaway from her time at Oregon State was the ability to solve problems. “It sounds like a really simple thing, but being able to assess a situation, ask questions, and develop a logical path forward has served me very well in all of the roles I’ve held professionally,” she said.
Through her own efforts, Nyssen landed an internship with Williams Controls while at Oregon State, and that internship led to a job offer as a manufacturing engineer with the company. As an undergraduate, she had taken an option in business engineering and a minor in business administration, and while at Williams Controls she supplemented her education with an MBA from Portland State University.
As part of her concentration in international business, Nyssen had spent some time in India. When the company made a decision to open their first manufacturing facility there, she was invited to go back to get it started. “We built the facility, all of the production lines, hired the staff, got our quality certification, and by the time I left about a year later, we were ready to start mass production,” she said. “I was able to use all of those business skills, and it really comes back to the issue of how to solve problems — being in a foreign country and faced with all sorts of things that no education could prepare you for.”
Curtiss-Wright later bought Williams Controls. Nyssen was recognized by Oregon’s business community as one of 40 Under 40 high achievers in 2011.
It really comes back to the issue of how to solve problems.