JOBS IN DEMAND: Lottie Richardson on Systems Engineering

By Jessie Smith on Monday, October 15, 2018

Lottie Richardson
Job: Manufacturing Supply Chain Planner at L’Oreal
Age: 22 | Hometown: Little Rock
Alma mater: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering

"As a systems engineer... when faced with a problem, it’s not a matter of 'I can’t solve it,' but rather 'how will I solve it?'”

What would students be most surprised to learn about your field?
That your mindset changes as a systems engineer. Literally, when faced with a problem, it’s not a matter of that I can’t solve it, but rather how will I solve it.

What is your job like day to day?
I get to plan Essie (a nail polish brand) materials for production. I work within the logistics department to plan what nail shades and components are produced at the L’Oreal North Little Rock site.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the problem-solving within our meetings; if we have constraints at some point of our supply chain, we collaborate on how to either fix the issue or work around the constraint.

What most prepared you for the work you’re doing now?
My senior capstone class. It allowed me to actually manage a project, which is what I do now in a sense. I manage the Essie catalog.

What is your advice for students interested in engineering?
The greatest advice I can give any engineering student is that even if you don’t know the answer at that moment, you MUST trust your instincts that you’ll figure out the answer. That’s why people love engineers — they figure out the impossible and give it to you in a math equation!


Why It's Hot
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of engineers as a whole will rise 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, and the employment of mechanical engineers is projected to rise 9 percent in that time frame. Engineers can expect plenty of job opportunities, particularly if they stay up to date with software tools.

The Major
Engineers need a bachelor’s degree in their field whether that is mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical or some other emphasis. Some universities offer engineering programs that give students the opportunity to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five or six years.

The Paycheck
Annual salary depends on the engineering specialty, but the median annual income of engineers in general was $92,220 in May 2017 and $85,880 for mechanical engineers.*


Two of the fastest-growing engineering fields also staff two of the largest proportions of older workers: industrial engineers and petroleum engineers. In both, 25 percent of currently employed workers are 55 years or older.

What does that mean to you?
They’ll be retiring soon and their jobs will need to be filled!

*SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics

See more Arkansas Jobs in Demand.