Alumna combines two loves in her dream job at bike company
Amanda Nauman loves to push herself. While at the School of Systems & Enterprises(SSE) at Stevens, earning her undergraduate degree in engineering management and systems engineering, she was an honor student, All-American swimmer and champion triathlete before graduating in 2011. She completed her master's in systems engineering a year later while simultaneously helping coach the Hoboken Masters swim team, working as a teaching assistant for the Engineering Management Department, managing a systems engineering Senior Design project, and serving as president of the Stevens student chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).
So it should come as no surprise that Nauman continues to push herself, both mentally and physically, in her self-described “dream job’’ as project manager in the engineering department at Felt Racing, which designs, develops and delivers premium bicycles that are used in the Olympics and in triathlons worldwide. She not only works for the premier bike company, but also loves to represent Felt while competing in several triathlons, which combine cycling, swimming and running, throughout the year.
This engineer is especially happy that she gets to work at a job that helps people just like her, ultimate athletes. “I love what I do,’’ she says. “I care about it and it really is my passion." Nauman’s job at Felt Racing allows her to be creative, but also taps heavily into her engineering side. She relishes the idea of seeing the projects she manages evolve during the project life cycle and gets a kick when she sees the bike eventually end up in the marketplace and out on the street.
This dream job came about because Nauman took a chance. She grew up in Mission Viejo, California, and knew of the Felt Racing Company, which is based 15 minutes from her home, because her father had always been a fan of Felt bikes and made sure the bikes in his garage were from the local SoCal bike company. She became more familiar with the company’s competition bikes because of the triathlons and cycling races she competed in while racing for Stevens’ club teams. In the summer of 2011, she saw the company had an opening for a position that she easily admits she was not qualified for. “I knew I had no chance of getting that job,’’ she says, “but I wanted to work so badly for Felt that I took a chance’’ and sent in her resume. Her resume ended up with the Director of Engineering and he was so impressed with her education and her interest and knowledge of the industry, they created an internship position for her. Everything after that sort of fell into place, she says.
She says she knew her engineering management education was a true plus for Felt’s engineering department, teaching them how to manage their work more efficiently, meet all deadlines and work within a budget. “(Felt and I) are a perfect fit. I know how to work within a budget and be on time because of my Stevens education.’’
Felt was so impressed with Nauman that, after she returned to Castle Point to pursue her master’s degree, the company kept her on in a part-time capacity for 10 hours a week, allowing her to work 3,000 miles away while earning her degree in Hoboken. After graduation in May 2012, she returned full-time to the company.
So where does this engineer/triathlete see herself in five years? “I would like to be at Felt, helping them grow. I hope to be better and stronger in all my races. And I hope to be better at balancing my work and training because right now that’s a huge challenge for me.’’
Given her history, there’s little doubt she’ll do anything but exceed this challenge.