Recent UF ISE Alum pays a visit

Ryan Strobel (Left) and Dr. Serdar Kirli (Right) deliver a presentation

Dell EMC Enterprise Account Manager & 2016 UF Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Alumni, Ryan Strobel paid a visit to his old “stomping-grounds” on November 8th and 9th to give some insight on life after undergraduate studies. His first day on campus included visiting UF ISE Undergraduate Coordinator and Professor, Dr. Serdar Kirli’s class.

During Dr. Kirli’s class, Strobel shared his coming to UF journey of not having a vision of what he wanted to do when he got here, but knew that taking his dad’s advice of becoming an Electrical Engineer was not in his future. He was originally a Mechanical Engineering major, but after the Intro to Engineering course that introduces all concentrations of the discipline, he ultimately switched to Industrial & Systems Engineering, while adding on a Sales Engineering Minor. From there he touched on his career being somewhat demanding due to 60 to 80 hour weeks, yet being very flexible and still being able to “make all of your kids’ soccer games.”

Third-year ISE student, Ricardo Gonzalez asked, “What are some experiences you had prior to graduating that were influential to you career decision?”

Strobel paid homage to working for his dad, in their family business (Sunshine Solar Services) since the age of 12. While there, he worked as a Solar Installer, Intern Manager, and Sales Representative and also created an application called Solar Estimator, so that the business could run more efficiently and effectively. He also mentioned by speaking up and “getting back to the basics” of job hunting by calling people allowed him to obtain his position.

Dr. Serdar Kirli and Ryan Strobel shake hands after Strobel’s seminar in Kirli’s class.

“Ryan was always a good student. He was very vocal, with good leadership characteristics,” said Strobel’s former ISE Professor, Dr. Kirli, “He was always willing to provide feedback.”

Strobel definitely honed his leadership skills in Dr. Kirli’s Decision Support Systems course and even volunteered himself as a source for possible internships and employment with Dell EMC.

“Mr. Strobel was engaging and approachable and took the time to connect with students and help them seek opportunities to pursue a career in sales,” said fifth-year ISE student, Samantha Odum, “He made the time to discuss opportunities within Dell and readily made himself available to be a mentor for any student interested in exploring that path.”

Aside from employment and internships, Strobel encouraged students to try studying abroad, so that they could experience how systems work in other countries.

“When I went to Madrid, it was a totally different culture, from the foods people ate to the language. From an engineering standpoint, it was also very different on how they ran their grocery store system,” he said, “Food items are a lot more perishable over there because everything is fresh, so at the end of the work day things get thrown away, but the system was still very efficient.”

During his final seminar, in the Sales Engineering course, he eased the worries of the students by breaking down the daily duties of a sales professional and the three tiers that sales professionals have to go through at Dell EMC. Along with the presentation, Strobel assigned the students to five groups of five, and presented them with brainstorming questions. This allowed the students to experience how sales professionals think and work together.

Sales Engineering students brainstorm answers to Ryan Strobel’s questions.

At the end of his stay, Strobel reflected on his time as a student and now being on the opposite side, as a professional.

“A career in sales is very rewarding,” he said, “You work hard, but you also get the opportunity to have a family and experience new things. Sometimes you even get to come down to Gainesville for a few days, visit your alma mater, and speak to students about why sales is such a great career field.”