Meet Kendra VanPolen. She is a college student at Pittsburg State University and was our student intern for this summer. Kendra heard about Strata Design while attending the AWI Leadership Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. She had the opportunity to talk with many different companies but when Tyler, the President of Strata Design, realized that Kendra was from Michigan and not too far away, he asked her to contact him for a summer internship. Kendra happily applied and by the end of May started working on the shop floor and shorty after started creating shop drawing for the Engineering Department for the summer. She really enjoyed seeing cabinets being constructed from start to finish.
She was familiar with the woodworking industry, as her father started a custom cabinet shop 20 years ago. His business started as a one man shop where he took side jobs of making furniture for a local furniture store, just to make ends meet. Through hard work and perseverance, he created a name for himself and a reputation of excellent cabinetry work. His business has grown to 11 full time employees. It has expanded into creating custom cabinets all across the state and as far as Florida.
Kendra was also drawn to the woodworking industry because of her love of working with her hands and coming up with new ideas to build and create. Interning at Strata Design has helped her to gain a deeper knowledge of the industry as a whole and understands how jobs flow through bigger companies. She feels this experience will serve her well in her college classes.
She thinks it’s important to bring a female perspective in this field because for so long it has been male dominated. She believes women have great ideas on how to organize and create a positive work environment. We here at Strata Design know she is right! Although she will be missed as she returns to PSU this fall, we are excited for Kendra to finish her degree and continue the tradition of excellent Architectural Manufacturing! We hope she will return next summer!