Going Global! In our inaugural column in the last newsletter, we profiled an alumna in Africa. Our second stop with this column is Europe! Future columns will introduce Villanova women in Asia, Australia, North America and South America. Join us now as we head 3,957 miles from Villanova to Karlsruhe, Germany!
Who: Mary Sue Haydt
Where: Karlsruhe, Germany
Degree: Electrical Engineering, 1987
Why Engineering? I grew up in Florida, saw space shuttle launches and always wanted to be an astronaut. After my sophomore year at Villanova, I worked for a summer at Kennedy Space Center. I learned that I would not pass the physical requirements of being an astronaut because I am very near-sighted, but I had already discovered that I enjoyed my major.
Current Role: Field Applications Engineer
Length in Role: I have been a FAE for 10 years with various companies.
Current Company: Green Hills Software
What is a Field Applications Engineer?
I am in a technology sales organization on the tech side. I help customers define what they want, determine how to meet their needs, get them up and running with the product and provide support beyond that.
How did Villanova prepare you for the role you are in today?
As an electrical engineering major, I was required to take at least one course in almost every branch of electrical engineering. Our customers design many different types of products and sometimes they work in areas in which I have no professional experience. Because of the breadth of my studies at VU, I have a foundation that I can always leverage to understand new areas of technology.
What was your favorite class at Villanova?
Communications Theory; it is a mathematical part of electrical engineering about how one transmits and receives communication. It was a senior level course (capstone) built on prior learnings with insights into other parts of engineering and systems analysis.
What do you miss most about Villanova?
It is not what I miss most, but what I noticed myself enjoying the most – group projects. That is how engineering works: you work in teams all the time.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Move away and figure out who you are! I grew up in Florida and was very close to my parents. They wanted me to be independent and go away from home.
What do you love about where you are now?
I live in an old city with buildings that are several hundreds of years old. I don’t need a car because the transportation is very good. I do my shopping on foot and ride a bike or take the bus to work. In the city, it is very easy to interact with people and get out and enjoy nature.
What are some of your interests?
Traveling and sailing. In the past, I raced every Friday night on a 32 foot boat with a crew of six and a few extra people for fun!
Do you have a major goal for yourself right now?
Improve my German to a point where I can do a presentation comfortably. I work for an American company and my language usage is typically 50/50 English/German. With German-speaking colleagues & clients, I speak German. With other nationalities, I speak English.
What is an interesting fact about the region of the world where you work?
Karlsruhe is home to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany which is Germany’s Supreme Court.
What is something about you that not many people know?
At 27 years old, I learned to play ice hockey while living in California. I saw an ad and my husband and I decided to learn something new together. Today, I play for the Baden Ladies in the Landesliga Baden-Württemberg.