Finding the right fit, gaining confidence
Harley-Davidson was a good fit for Norgord. She comes from a family of motorcycle riders and learned how to ride before she could drive a car.
At UW-Stout, getting acquainted with other students who ride has been one of her favorite social experiences on campus.
“Having my motorcycle at school introduced me to people that I would not normally have met. Random riding buddies is what I called it — when you go up to some random student who also has a motorcycle, and you invite them for a ride between classes or exchange Snapchat so you can set up a time to go later,” she said.
Norgord couldn’t be happier with her experience at Harley-Davidson. During the co-op, she was on a team that develops and launches new products. She worked with employees at a variety of levels, including supervisors, other engineers, union representatives and equipment operators.
“I must communicate efficiently and effectively to maintain a common understanding between everyone,” Norgord said.
She started as one of a half-dozen interns, and as they moved on she became the top intern, in charge of helping train and mentor other new interns. “I learned a lot and rose to the occasion,” she said, citing improvement in numerous engineering and operational skill areas.
Norgord especially appreciates the team work environment at Harley-Davidson. “This team's dynamics and this team, in general, have made my time here fun and memorable. Together we have endured a lot and I will miss them,” Norgord said.
Norgord’s co-op originally was June to December 2020, but because of COVID-19 restrictions she asked to extend it through this summer to gain the on-site experience she wanted. She continued to take online courses to maintain her academic progress and will be a junior this fall.
“Working at Harley-Davidson has opened my eyes to different aspects of engineering through a manufacturing plant. I have learned that my career choice of mechanical engineering was the right fit for me,” she said.