Success as a Student-Athlete Fuels Engineering Career

Lebanon Valley College physics student Hana Krechel is now working as an engineer at Boeing.

Hana Krechel’s achievements on the field and in the classroom at LVC led her to incredible opportunities as an engineer at Boeing Philadelphia after graduation. While attending LVC, Krechel was a star lacrosse player, and she is still listed in the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse record book among the top twenty for all-time points, goals, and points-per-game. She excelled equally in her academics before graduating with a degree in physics in 2013.

With so much on her plate, Krechel says she learned the importance of time management right away. “At the beginning of every month, week, and day, I would lay out a plan of what I needed to accomplish and dedicate a chunk of time to do each of those short-term or long-term goals/assignments—whether that be a small homework assignment, attending and completing a lab report, or attending practices and games.” 

This balance and dedication to academics and athletics aided Krechel in building strong relationships with the faculty in the Physics Department, which ultimately led to opportunities for graduate school and career development. “I have my physics professors to thank for helping me get in graduate school with a full scholarship at Penn State. They have a great relationship with the faculty in the PSU Engineering Department. With their help, I made a connection with a professor at Penn State, who hired me as a research assistant. This funded my thesis research and also paid for my tuition.” 

After graduate school, Krechel was hired at Boeing Philadelphia as a structural analysis engineer, where she helps guide product design and ensure the structural integrity of aircrafts using models, simulations, and analytical methods. She now works on the management side of these projects in a leadership position by overseeing and coordinating tasks and analysis in a hands-on environment. “The factory lines for two helicopters are a few steps from my desk, and we fly them to deliver them to our customers. I love stepping away from my desk and a detailed task or analysis, and go into the factory and see my part or system being assembled onto an aircraft, and flying away. It’s incredible.” 

Krechel attributes her success as an engineer to the opportunities she was given as a student at LVC through her classes, internships, and personal connections on campus. She maintained strong connections with professors, coaches, and other students, which helped her succeed in taking steps toward a career she loves. “Personal skills and forming relationships are just as important as learning technical skills,” she said. Branching out and walking into a professor’s office or taking the extra effort to introduce yourself to someone at a career fair can make all the difference in the world.” 

 

- Bryn Hanrahan, Freelance Writer