Alumni Profile: Glenn Swanson


Administrative Aide to Lab Operations Manager, 2011-2013


Bachelor of the Arts in Studio Art


Glenn Swanson began working at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center in 2011 as an undergraduate working towards her BA in Studio Art. She worked as an Administrative Assistant to the Lab Operations Manager, and often worked as part of the lab maintenance crew. While working in a lab was not related to what she was studying at school, Swanson embraced the opportunity to gain real world experience. When she was asked about what she took away from her time with the Center, Glenn said the following:

“It offered a lot of opportunity for me to gain valuable career skills before graduating. It also offered me the chance to work among a wide variety people and participate in many projects in an industry that I wouldn’t normally have exposure to in the visual arts field.”

This experience included a number of different projects around the lab, ranging from keeping track of all of the research projects to creating manuals and safety training presentations. Swanson considers herself lucky to have worked at the center, because of the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of research. She explained:

“Considering my field of study was very different from engineering, I feel very lucky to have been able to in such an innovative research environment. It was rewarding to see the similarities between working in the lab and my concentration of sculpture, especially in regards to safety and instructional training in the production labs/shops.”

Swanson was also able to use her knowledge of the center’s projects to write technical reports, a skill that has been useful for her after graduation.

“I find the technical and instructional writing skills I developed while working at the Center have been one of my greatest assets in subsequent jobs.”

Swanson now works for Direct Capital, an equipment finance company, as a Quality Control Analyst. She conducts internal audits on loan and lease agreements. She also writes desktop procedures for the QA/QC department, and provides feedback for other departments when they are completing their desktop procedures.