Some leaders are born. Others are made. The rare few cast the mold.

Junior Emmy Dressen is one of the great.

After serving in high school leadership roles in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she followed the path to her family’s alma mater and became a mechanical engineer at SD Mines, like her dad and uncle before her.

“I toured and fell in love with Mines and Rapid City, which is really outdoorsy. I like the small class sizes. A lot of my friends went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but in a class of 700, the professor doesn’t know your name. Here they remember you right away. My professor, Dr. Cassandra Degen challenges me to always do better because she cares about me and wants me to succeed.”

Emmy also discovered confidence through WiSE, immersed in professional opportunities, leadership development, and a network of close friends and industry role models.

In a school marked by personal attention, Emmy realized she wasn’t just experiencing the Mines difference. She was part of it. That’s when she transformed from WiSE mentee to mentor – where she sees her greatest successes in helping others achieve their’s.

Today she’s landed a semester-long internship at Cargill in Indiana, pursuing her passion of project management at a company where she’s already connected. Fellow mechanical engineer and May 2016 graduate Roye Schwabe just landed a job at the multinational.

Last year Cargill was the top Mines employer, hiring 23 students in 12 states.

Emmy’s not surprised. “Just having Mines on your résumé​ is good. Companies know you had to work hard and every class you’ll take is challenging – but so worth it. I’m excited for this internship to see what I’ll be doing for hopefully the rest of my life!”

That future includes plans to land an MBA and a career as a Disney Imagineer.

“I’m kind of a nerdy so I fit in pretty well here. I’ve always like math and science so finding a branch of it that works as a career was exciting. I think going here was one of the best decisions of my life.”