Student Profile - Candice Montgomery
Industrial engineering major Candice Montgomery loves a challenge
Growing up in Huffman, Candice Montgomery heard from boys in her classes, “girls can’t be engineers.” Now a 20-year-old senior industrial engineering major at Lamar University she is proving them wrong.
“I was in all advanced classes in high school and loved the challenge. Excelling further than most of my classmates quickly changed their view of how persistent I was,” she said. With her graduation date approaching, she said her career goal is simple – “I want to be in charge.” Montgomery said she enjoys both the mechanical and interpersonal aspects of industrial engineering.
She believes that she has become better prepared for the future with the help of Lamar University’s student organizations. “I was always involved in high school, but when I got to college I gained the ability to handle much more. I put a lot on my plate at one time, but I always get it done,” she said. Montgomery now holds leadership positions in seven different organizations and keeps up with her studies.
After graduating a year early from Hargrave High School in Huffman in 2008, she was ready to get out into the world. Montgomery spent a year at a junior college while completing an internship at the Waste Management corporate office in the IT department helping project managers with databases for the company. While working in the IT department she discovered her boss had an industrial engineering degree, Montgomery decided to look into studying industrial engineering as well as mechanical engineering. After researching the engineering program at Lamar University and receiving offers of academic and honors scholarships, Montgomery decided that LU was the right choice for her.
“Engineering is a growing field, and I want to be a part of the growth,” she said. “Every day I feel challenged in my classes and find it gratifying to learn to solve new problems.”
Montgomery started out as mechanical engineering major but changed to industrial after her professors explained that she could begin working on her MBA at Lamar while completing her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.
“Industrial just seemed like the better career move for me. Working in the IT department with my boss gave me a very influential mentor in the field to look up to,” she said.
Montgomery has also found influential mentors in her Lamar University professors. “I want them to remember me, and I hope they know that they have prepared me for a brighter future,” she said.
In addition to her academic work, Montgomery believes her experience in student organizations has prepared her to be a leader in the professional world. In her first semester at Lamar, she joined Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. “I wanted friendships that would last a lifetime. I didn’t know anyone when I came to Lamar, and I didn’t want to just sit in my dorm all the time,” she said. “I wanted to meet people and enjoy my college experience.”
She was quickly thrown into a leadership position as vice president of recruitment and knew that she had to prove she could do the job. She later became vice president of programs council and now serves as Zeta Tau Alpha president. The responsibilities allowed her to use skills she already had and develop new ones, such as learning how to delegate.
“The things that have helped me the most with being a leader are time management and dealing with conflict,” she said. “Being able to delegate has helped me with my interpersonal skills and showed me that I want to work with people, not just sit behind a desk all day.”
Because she enjoys juggling multiple responsibilities, Montgomery quickly became involved in other campus organizations. She serves as the secretary of L’Raisers, and web master of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Montgomery also serves on the Homecoming Committee of Student Government Association and the Greek Week Committee of Greek Council and is a member of the Order of Omega and the LU Honors Program.
“I work well under pressure. Knowing that I have a deadline only pushes me more,” Montgomery said. She believes her involvement will help her stand out to future employers when she begins her career after completing her bachelor’s in industrial engineering and her MBA at Lamar University. “I feel I will be better equipped for future tasks that may demand a lot of my time.”