When Jordyn Showers enrolled IN the plastics engineering technology program at Pittsburg State, she had confidence that her degree would one day land her at the job of her dreams.

“I knew that maybe five or 10 years into my career, I could end up at a large, well-known company,” she said. “Our plastics program is one of the best in the nation, so I knew it could take me pretty far.”

She was right about the big job thing. She was just off on the timing.

Following graduation in May, Showers moved to Beaverton, Ore., to begin working at Nike IHM, an independently run subsidiary of Nike that focuses on plastics manufacturing. In her role as a process engineer, Showers works with twin sheet thermoforming to produce air soles for various types of Nike shoes.

“It’s very exciting, because I never thought I’d make it into such a large company right off the bat,” she said. “I think it shows that our program at PSU is top notch and prepares you for these big opportunities.”

Showers said she was offered the job at Nike IHM after earning two internships at the company. She said her hands-on education at Pitt State helped her stand out from the thousands of applicants.

“Nike IHM expects you to come in and be on the machines,” she said. “You have to know what you’re doing, and PSU prepares you for that. The plastics program at Pitt is amazing because of all of the lab time. We have so much time on the machines, and we know how all of this works by the time we graduate.”

Showers said one of her main goals in her career in plastics is to help give plastics a better name.

“Plastics are blamed for a lot of the world’s problems,” she said, “but it’s not bad plastic. It’s bad application. I want to use my knowledge to better educate people and help them better understand the good that plastic does for the world.”

She also hopes her success will inspire young women to enter the field.

“Because there are fewer of us in the technology world, women have a real opportunity to shine and show people that we’re smart and capable,” she said. “Technology doesn’t have to be just a man’s world. I think as more women feel confident that they can find success in technology, you’ll see the trend of fewer women start to change.”