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IMSE grad student finds her way back home to MU

Lauren Himmelberg poses near a staircase in Lafferre Hall.

Lauren Himmelberg is on track to graduate with both an MBA and a master’s in industrial engineering following the Spring 2016 semester. In the meantime, she’ll be keeping busy both with classes and by working with the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi).

Lauren Himmelberg’s recent job with in the airline industry had the fringe benefit of allowing her to travel all over the globe. But, given her strong family ties, it’s no surprise she found her way back home to Mizzou.

After all, Himmelberg, her father and her sister all graduated with bachelor’s degrees from the University of Missouri. Himmelberg’s father, Dale (BS AGR ’85), also is a member of the Plant Engineering Department’s staff at MU, working as a locksmith. Himmelberg’s sister, Brittany Hart, earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 2010.

“Basically, it feels like home,” she said. “My father’s been working here I think the entire time I’ve been alive. Since he’s been here so long, pretty much since the time we’ve been little, they’ve always brought us down here.”

Himmelberg, a Glasgow, Mo., native, earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 2012 and went about putting that degree to work, most recently in an eight-month internship with United Airlines. At United, Himmelberg spent a bulk of her internship working on the most efficient distribution of ground service equipment. And, on the weekends, she took advantage of a benefit extended to all United employees.

“When you work for the airlines, even as an intern, a lot of them will let you do space-available travel,” she said. “So I got to travel to lots and lots of places. I think it’s 10 or 11 countries I’ve been to. The full-time people thought we were crazy, because since we were there for a short time, we’d take weekend trips to places like Europe.”

Himmelberg enjoyed the work she did with United. But she soon came to the realization that the doors for advancement in the field could possibly be locked to her since potential jobs that held her interest required a master’s degree to obtain. While at MU, however, Himmelberg had been a member of the dual Master of Science in Industrial Engineering/Master of Business Administration (MS IE/MBA) program, and she decided to come back and finish what she’d already started.

“I love the combination of math and business,” she said. “It’s a lot more of the application of math I enjoyed in high school.”

Himmelberg is on track to graduate with both master’s degrees following the Spring 2016 semester. In the meantime, she’ll be keeping busy both with classes and by working with the Center for Excellence in Logistics and Distribution (CELDi) under the direction of IMSE professor James Noble, the CELDi Site Director at MU.

“I’m working with CELDi on the project with Boeing,” she said. “I’m very excited. I had Dr. Noble for all of undergrad, and he knew me, and he knew I was getting back into the program, so he asked me to be the graduate assistant once the most recent student graduated.”

She should provide a unique perspective, given her educational background in business and engineering. And Himmelberg enjoys the combination.

“What I’ve noticed the most is you kind of get both sides of the story. There are things I’ve talked about in both business and industrial engineering classes, and it’s totally different approaches (to the same problems),” she said.