Young Alum of the Month: Danika Schaaf

Danika Schaaf
Title and Company: 
Production Supervisor – Second Shift. OSI Group, LLC. In Oakland, Iowa
Des Moines, IA
Major and Graduation Date: 
Global Resource Systems, December 2013
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: 

My most important responsibility is to keep my team safe.  We work with large pieces of equipment that have many moving parts, so we have to keep safety in mind at all times.  Next, I keep a focus on the customer and making sure our product fits their specifications.  Our customers trust us to meet their needs, so we work hard to do that.

After that, it is my job to run my floor as efficiently as possible and to communicate with the other departments frequently.  As a part of operations, I need to keep my team updated on sudden changes so we can react appropriately.

What you like most about your job/position: 

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is how much diversity we have.  Even though our plant is in a rural area, we have a highly international workforce.  When I walk through the plant, I will hear five or more languages being spoken. Having that much exposure to other cultures and people is a great experience.

Another thing I have appreciated about my job, and OSI, is its Rotational Management Trainee (RMT) program.  The RMT program is for recent college graduates and gives employees a chance to move through different areas of the company, such as Operations, Quality Assurance, and Supply Chain.  Being an RMT let me get a broad view of OSI and helped me find my fit in Operations.

What advice would you give to current students: 

Do not be afraid to go after your dreams.  When you have a big goal you would like to go after, think of the small steps you need to take to get there.  It will be easier to tackle a big task if you do it one piece at a time.  If your plans take more time to unfold than you had thought they would, that is alright.  As long as you stay focused and keep working towards what you want, you will do fine.

Favorite ISU Class
Looking back, my favorite course could be any one of the Global Resource Systems seminars.  I liked the class conversations about what was happening in the world.  The classes made me think because not everyone had the same opinion and tough questions were raised.

The different viewpoints made it fun since you had to think carefully about your opinion and be ready to defend it.  Being challenged by other students was a good opportunity to really think about how you felt.