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Alumni Spotlight: Yolanda Walker

Atlanta, GA

Name: Yolanda R. Walker
GT Degree(s): Master's of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Year Degree Awarded: 2000
Current Title/Position: Principal Systems Engineer
Current Company/Organization: Medtronic, Inc. – a leader in the Medical Device Industry.

Describe your average workday. As a Principal Systems Engineer, I liaise between management, customers, suppliers, and specialty engineers for a new product development program. I am required to assess all program aspects from a systems perspective, which allows me to focus on the integration of all facets within a system or product. My workday can vary greatly depending on what phase the program is in. Currently, my program is in the verification and validation phase. My activities include verifying that the system meets the design specifications by developing verification test protocols to test the product with the system.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What I enjoy most about my current role is knowing that the products we develop help to improve the lives of patients by alleviating their pain, restoring their health, and/or extending their life every day!

How did ECE prepare you for your current role? The intensity of the ECE program gave me the confidence to be bold and fearless when faced with any new challenge.  Although I am a novice in the biomedical field, I do not allow that to be an excuse to not know the product(s) my team is currently developing. I also leveraged the ability to quickly adapt and be flexible and agile in competitive business environments. 

What advice would you give current ECE students? Be flexible! Maintain a learning agility! Do not be afraid to learn something new every day or to change jobs or industries!

What do you think is the most important technological breakthrough of the past 20 years? The internet.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do? Traveling the world, volunteer work, running, pilates/yoga, and strength training.

Is there anything else you would like to add? The time I spent at Georgia Tech taught me the importance of working hard and the importance of building, maintaining, and sustaining relationships. Building relationships has aided me in completing some difficult projects and/or tasks, finding new job opportunities, and developing life-long friendships.

Last revised May 15, 2020