Dubbed by #Ginning as the “productivity tsarina,” Katelyn Rheinlander has a pretty cool job—almost as cool as the Cool Ranch Doritos she helps make. Rheinlander is the productivity manager for Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo. A 2013 biosystems engineering graduate, Rheinlander spends her days solving problems, creating solutions and making sure America’s favorite snacks hit the grocery store shelves on schedule.
Making the drive from the largest Frito-Lay facility in North America, Rheinlander came to Auburn to spend the day with current and perspective students during E-day. She then took the opportunity to sit down with the communications and marketing podcast team to talk about her position at Frito-Lay, her experience as an Auburn Engineering alumna and member of 100+ Women Strong.
“I make Doritos for a living,” Rheinlander said with a laugh.
As the productivity manager, her job is much more complex than simply making chips, although she makes the process look easy. Rheinlander spends her time solving problems at the drop of a hat. She is responsible for solving any and every productivity issue for her team—from equipment issues to power outages—and has to change the plan to make sure production continues.
“The pace of work and sense of urgency—that’s what’s cool. That was the most important part for me when looking for this position after I graduated,” said Rheinlander. “The challenge of the work is what makes it so fun.”
Rheinlander does not shy away from a challenge, even being the first in her family to pursue engineering.
“Being the first engineer in my family, I didn’t really know what was possible or what an engineer even did,” said Rheinlander. “It was great to talk to students at E-day today, to provide them with resources and support and get them excited about engineering. I know for me it would have been nice to have a resource like that.”
Thinking through her experience as a student was one reason Rheinlander decided to join 100+ Women Strong. In participating in the program, she wants to be the mentor and resource she always wanted.
“I know I would have loved to have that mentor,” said Rheinlander. “100+ Women Strong is a program to recruit, retain and reward women in engineering. It has been awesome to be a part of the organization.”
Through her interesting work at Frito-Lay and her participation in 100+ Women Strong, Rheinlander serves as an inspiration for future Auburn Engineering alumni.
To learn more about 100+ Women Strong, visit https://www.eng.auburn.edu/giving/100-women-strong
Listen to the full podcast with Katelyn Rheinlander below.