Welcome to Baker College’s Spotlight feature, a series of brief interviews with notable BC students, faculty and alumni who are making news and reaching new heights in their educational and professional pursuits.
This edition of Spotlight features Olin Bundy, who not only earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baker College, but also served as a part of the Baker faculty as an adjunct professor. Bundy was recently named South-Central Region Territory Sales Manager for Automation Engineering Company, headquartered in Greenville, S.C. Here we learn more about Olin and his professional path and passions.
Baker College (BC): We’re glad to talk with you today, Olin. We’d like to start by outlining for our readers what degrees you earned from Baker College.
Olin Bundy (OB): I graduated Summa Cum Laude with an Outstanding Graduate Award when earning a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management in 2003. I then went on to earn an MBA in Industrial Management from the Baker College Center for Graduate Studies.
BC: Impressive! What can you tell our readers about why you chose Baker College for your educational pursuits?
OB: I chose Baker College, because the campus was convenient to where I was working. Plus, Baker gave me transfer credit for U.S. Navy Service Schools and for prior college courses that I had completed.
BC: We know also that your history with Baker goes beyond your years as a student. Tell us about your work as an Adjunct Professor. What did you teach?
OB: I served as part of the Baker College faculty as an Adjunct Professor at Baker College of Muskegon from 2004 to 2006. I taught a variety of courses, including: Fundamentals of Drafting, Introduction to Manufacturing, Engineering Handbook, Engineering Materials, Manufacturing Processes, Basic Electricity Electronics, AC Theory and Industrial Controls.
BC: A true example of the student becoming the master! Let’s learn more about your career since your days with Baker. What is your current job title/professional role?
OB: Currently, I am the South-Central Region Territory Sales Manager for Automation Engineering Company, responsible for client engagement with leading manufacturers offering expertise in a broad range of mechanical, automation, control and electrical engineering services. From project collaboration and design, to finished systems. Prior to this position, I’ve worked as the Technical Training Manager and the Plant Manager for Toshiba International, Product Trainer and Marketing Manager for Schneider Electric and the Business Unit General Manager for Westinghouse.
BC: An impressive resume, to say the least, Olin. What drove you to pursue a career in the manufacturing industry?
OB: When I graduated High School, I didn’t have a direction, and being from a small town with little opportunities, I joined the Navy, and upon my father’s advice, studied electronics specializing in Avionics. After six years of service, I found my first job with General Dynamics working on test equipment used to manufacture the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Each of my roles since then have been in manufacturing.
BC: Looks like that was sound advice from your father, and we all thank you for your service to our country. In the manufacturing industry, how do you remain active in/connected to professional development in a field which is constantly changing and innovating?
OB: I learn something new every day; I’m continually looking at YouTube videos to find the answers to things that I do not fully understand. I've always been driven by the fear of being asked something I do not know.
BC: Looking back, what were your career goals when you enrolled at BC? How do they compare to where you are today?
OB: Initially, my goal was just to be the first in my family to graduate with a college degree. This soon changed, however, when I started to become engaged in learning and the positive self-worth that I gained by doing so.
BC: Your love of learning is certainly on display with all of your professional success to date. What do you like best about your job/career path? What do you find most challenging?
OB: What I like about my current role is that I am continually challenged. Listening to what the customers concepts are and figuring out, both from a business and a technical perspective, what makes the best sense for their business. It requires me to rely on everything that I've learned throughout my education.
BC: Speaking of that education, how do you feel your time at/degrees from Baker College have contributed to your professional successes?
OB: I honestly do not feel that I would have been given the opportunities that I have been given if it had not been for my time spent at Baker College. Everything from the group projects working with other students, to mentorships from the instructional staff.
BC: As someone who has, “been there and done that,” what best piece of advice would you share with current college students?
OB: The advice I would give to students is that there is so much out there to learn, and as David Covey is quoted as saying, the “continual sharpening the saw.” Take the time to read the books, absorb the discussions, ask questions and challenge yourself to do your best.
BC: As both an alumnus and former faculty member, what would you want others to know about Baker College?
OB: People should know that the Baker College staff is truly engaged in doing all they can to make each student a success.
BC: We’ve really enjoyed all of the insights you’ve shared with us today. Anything else you’d like to add?
OB: The best advice I have ever received: It doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is that you do it well, and that it fulfills you.