Cal Poly’s Industrial Technology Society Visits WestPack and Tours SpaceX

Cal Poly Industrial Technology Society Visits SpaceX

Cal Poly’s Industrial Technology Society, a club that helps connect students with the industry community, recently traveled to Southern California to visit the Advanced Manufacturing Expo/WestPack and tour SpaceX. During this trip, students were able to see the newest technologies being used in the industry and connect with companies and professionals.

First on their trip, Cal Poly’s Industrial Technology Society visited the Advanced Manufacturing Expo/WestPack, a convention that hosts over 20,000 engineers, executives and suppliers to present the latest cutting-edge technology in design and manufacturing. Throughout the expo, students explored a wide variety of industries, including supply chain software, medical component manufacturing and packaging equipment, and established connections with leading industry professionals and companies. They also had the opportunity to view demonstrations of new and innovative technologies, such as medical grade 3D printing.

After the convention, students visited SpaceX and were given a tour of the mission control center and production facility. On the first part of the tour, students explored SpaceX’s headquarters and saw an actual pod that had been to space, as well as the first rocket to perform a vertical takeoff and landing. Next, students were given a special viewing of the production facilities where rockets are built, tested, and inspected. Here, students were able to see rocket engines, octopod final assembly, composite layup, and more. At the end of the tour, students had the opportunity to network with SpaceX recruiters to gain an inside perspective of working at SpaceX and to learn more about their available positions.

Alumni Spotlight: Kim Hibler, VP Global Sales of Citrix

Kim Hibler

Growing up in a family of engineers and attending a tech-savvy school like Cal Poly gave Kim Hibler the step up she needed to achieve her successes in the tech industry. Hibler, a Cal Poly business graduate who studied management and human resources, has worked extensively in this fast-paced technology sector for companies like Dell and Citrix while pioneering the way for women in the industry.

During her time at Cal Poly, Hibler said one of the most valuable parts of her education was getting away from a siloed thinking and experiencing a little bit of what the other colleges had to offer. “I liked the diversity of what it allowed me to be engaged with,” Hibler said. “It’s almost like being a generalist rather than a specialist because I had the opportunity to learn from peers with different disciplines and specialities.” The diversity of her college education ultimately fostered her interest in technology and helped her to begin her career.

Upon graduation, Hibler got a job at a small startup, Voyager Systems, where she created their first ever employee handbook and operating manual. From there, Hibler soon became the director of training where she traveled internationally and taught employees and customers how to use Voyager System’s products.

During her international travels in the early 80’s through the middle east, Hibler experienced firsthand the gender disparities that permeated her industry. “Women didn’t do business like they did in the States,” Hibler said. “I saw very few women working with computers, and I found there were no women’s restrooms, in the places where I was going to work.”

Hibler never let the lack of women in her field discourage her from becoming successful, but rather it drove her to overcome and achieve success in her field while becoming a mentor for other women on the rise. During her career in the industry, Hibler has served as the regional vice president and was the first female general manager at Wyle Electronics. Additionally she served as the vice president of business development at PartMiner, held many positions at Dell including vice president of small and medium business, and currently works as the vice president of global sales at Citrix.

Throughout her career, she has learned that it is essential to ask for help when you need it. “The smartest people are the ones that ask for help,” Hibler said. “It’s hard for a young person to admit that they don’t know…but people want to help you, and asking for that help is sort of a gift.”

Hibler’s passion for technology will no doubt lead to her continued success in the industry, as she Learns by Doing and adapts to the changing business climate. “I don’t think anyone can sustain a career without Learn by Doing,” Hibler says. “If you’re just doing something without learning anything, then why would you want to do it?”
To Hibler, her work has always been rooted in a greater purpose of bringing people together around the world. “I love technology and I always have,” Hibler says. “I still work in technology today because I love what it enables the world to do. My career has really become about helping others succeed, the people who I work with and the customers who use the products we create.

To Hibler, her work has always been rooted in a greater purpose of bringing people together around the world. “I love technology and I always have,” Hibler says. “I still work in technology today because I love what it enables the world to do. My career has really become about leading technology and leading people.”