Written by: Morgan Gay, MSU Communications Manager
Over 20,000 students have participated in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs), and many of these students begin successful careers in engineering upon their graduation. This is especially true for Mississippi State University’s former project manager, Miandra James.
At MSU, Miandra was no stranger to success. In 2017, she became Project Manager for MSU’s EcoCAR 3 team and was challenged with uniting an entirely new group of team leads together. She was able to turn this task into one of her biggest accomplishments.
“I had the opportunity to help different people from different cultures and backgrounds work together to create one vision for the team. We started a little behind that year, but we picked up momentum and gained a lot of ground. It was definitely the most difficult, but also the most rewarding part of my job,” Miandra said.
At the EcoCAR 3 Year 4 competition, Miandra was recognized for her impressive leadership skills when she received third place overall in project management.
Soon after she graduated, Miandra began working at J.B. Hunt, a logistics and trucking company. She works as a logistics engineer and is able to apply the skills she learned from EcoCAR to her career. At J.B. Hunt, some of Miandra’s responsibilities have been to analyze data, transport equipment and work with the customer management tool Microsoft Dynamics. This past summer she also had the opportunity to lead a group of interns, and she believes EcoCAR helped prepare her for this responsibility.
“Being project manager for Mississippi State gave me a lot of the skill set to think through what [the interns] would need, and it made the summer program a big success. We had a lot of really happy interns and a lot of newer engineers that got integrated faster,” Miandra said.
Miandra’s ability to lead others has not only helped her to succeed in her career at J.B. Hunt, but it also made her an integral part of the MSU EcoCAR team. She left a legacy of success that MSU hopes to carry out through the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.