Sarah Waltner graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Currently, she is serving as the General Manager for the Applied Technology Division at Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, SD. This entails managing division-wide operations, as well as having business responsibility for the Latin American, European and Slingshot business units. Additionally, Waltner helps to lead the development of strategy and vision for the Applied Technology Division to ensure continued success.
Some key reasons that Waltner chose SDSU for her education include the great overall engineering program, quality scholarship offerings, and excellent in-state tuition rates. She enjoyed her time as a student at SDSU and looks back very fondly on time spent studying and working on projects with professors and classmates. As she put it, “The people are great and it is an incredible thing to learn and solve difficult challenges together.” Waltner says that she is now very excited for future graduates and the future of the electrical engineering field as a whole. The Raven mission statement is “We solve great challenges” and there are so many amazing challenges that are being solved today and are yet to be solved in the coming years. Technology can do some amazing things for humanity, and she is excited for future SDSU graduates who will be on the forefront of its development.
Waltner also gave some advice for future students, advising them to not fear spending time dwelling on a problem, digging into it, and having fun along the way. She also advises each student to have high career aspirations, but not to lose sight of the value in learning fundamentals while in school. Many of these types of lessons learned during her education and in the early parts of her career still help her today. Additionally, she advises that students don’t wait for others to solve a problem or claim that it isn’t their job. Many of the opportunities and positions she has held were a result of working hard and helping her team solve problems. Finally, she wants each student to remember that even though this is serious work, it is important to remember life is too short not to have fun and enjoy what you are doing!