Mandan refinery employees share real world opportunities with students on Career Day

Community News

Mandan, Foundation

Four employees from Marathon Petroleum’s Mandan refinery in North Dakota explained their different education backgrounds and job specialties at Mandan Middle school for Career Day. Students in the 8th grade Careers Management class were intrigued to learn about the refinery and the various types of jobs of the employees who work there.

“The students were excited to learn about one of our neighbors,” said Sheila Quick, teacher at Mandan Middle School. “They asked many good questions and learned about what it is like to work at a refinery from four different perspectives.” 

The speakers from the refinery included Dan Johnson, an electrical engineer; Mike Wamboldt, a civil engineer; Cody Schneider, an instrument technician; and Val McGee, RN, an occupational health nurse.

“We talked about the industry, the refinery and our focus on safety. Then we shared details about our education, our individual roles and how we support the company,” said McGee. “Many students are looking for career ideas to research. We wanted to share some of the possibilities to get them thinking.”

Mike Wamboldt said he remembers his own Career Day when he was an 8th grader and that one guest speaker set the course for his career in engineering.

“A man from the Wyoming Department of Transportation, a civil engineer, talked about what he did and how science and math were a big part of his job. I loved science and math, and from that point on, I wanted to be a civil engineer,” said Wamboldt. “I really never thought about doing anything else, and that’s what I’m still doing after 35 years.”

Wamboldt enjoys being able to share that passion for engineering with other young people because he knows the impact it could make on their lives.

“Children are so inquisitive, and I want to point them in the right direction,” said Wamboldt. “It definitely worked out for me.”

The employees plan to continue being a part of the Career Day activities with the school.