Courtney Cadiz Turns Internship into Career Opportunity

2019 mechanical engineering alumna works for International Paper

Courtney Cadiz

Courtney Cadiz (BSME 19), information technology specialist at International Paper in Memphis, has already garnered recognition early in her career.

Cadiz was part of a mills project that ended up saving the company $250,000 annually, so she and her project partner at the company were nominated and received the CEO award in February 2020. The award is given to people who make a significant difference, are strong performers, and go above and beyond during the work year.

Before she was hired at International Paper in 2019, Cadiz worked as an intern there during summer 2018. She encourages every student to try for an internship.

“Having an internship is the best time to make mistakes and learn,” Cadiz said. “You get to meet people, network and see how the company works in a 9-to-5, real-life job.”

About her time at Ole Miss, Cadiz said she didn’t start freshman year with a “dream career” in mind.

“I chose mechanical engineering because I was good at math and science,” she said. “I wanted a degree that would give me a good career.”

Cadiz stayed involved on campus during her undergraduate years. She was part of the Society of Women Engineers, Delta Gamma and Associated Student Body, and was an Ole Miss ambassador.

“The size of the program [at Ole Miss] was an advantage. It wasn’t huge, but in the best way possible, I knew almost everyone there.”

Team projects combined with the family atmosphere of the engineering school helped Cadiz learn collaboration and people skills, which she said have been incredibly valuable while in the workforce.

“Building teacher relations was important because it helped us to learn to work with all ages in the industry,” Cadiz said. “We weren’t always going to be around people our age.”

Cadiz urges students to get to know their professors.

“Go to office hours, read the books, and use the resources at the Dean’s Office. Make your goals known because people in that school can introduce you to opportunities to make those dreams happen.”