She’s Eager to Get into the Meat and Potatoes of Her New Job

 |  Sundt People

K.Olson_Press ReleaseKjirsten Olson is the newest Field Engineer in Sundt’s San Antonio office. Her duties include participating in and providing support with project scheduling; construction documents; safety and quality of work; codes, regulations and standards; and productivity and cost control.

She came to Sundt after serving as a subsea engineer for a consulting firm that specializes in project management and engineering for deepwater oil and gas development. Kjirsten has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Kjirsten took time to answer a few questions about her new job and favorite things, including a slice of Americana she prefers at dinnertime.

What made you want to work for Sundt?

I decided to become an Engineer because I enjoy creating, building, designing and fixing problems. With our technologically advanced world so many engineers sit behind a desk all day and never get to see the final project they helped create. I chose to work for Sundt because I get to see a plot of land transformed before my eyes. I get to walk the jobsite and fix problems. But more importantly, I decided to work for Sundt because it is a great company. Everyone takes pride in their work and everyone is an employee-owner. I am very excited to be a part of Sundt.

How is attending Colorado School of Mines different from most other college experiences? 

It’s different in so many ways. No, I’m not just talking about the ratio (my graduating class was 80 percent male). I’m not even talking about how studious the students are or even the fact that the school is nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Let me explain CSM by taking you on a short journey. Take a second to imagine yourself as an Engineering major. You are walking into your Language Arts classroom. You sit down and your professor hands you a syllabus and you begin to read it over. At this point you are probably imagining that your syllabus says William Shakespeare or Edgar Allen Poe. It doesn’t. Ninety-eight percent of undergraduate degrees at Colorado School of Mines are engineering or applied science degrees. Because of this the entire school is very likeminded and the topics you will learn in all classes are related to engineering and science. That language arts syllabus would include topics such as stem-cell research, the Challenger (space shuttle) explosion, genetic engineering and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related subjects.

Attending Colorado School of Mines was the most challenging four years of my life and I am thankful for the knowledge and experience I gained there.

What’s the most interesting thing that has happened to you at work?

It would have to be Helicopter Underwater Egress Training. During this training I learned how to survive if stranded out in the ocean. The most interesting part was learning how to survive during a helicopter crash into the ocean. I was put into a helicopter simulator and had to escape it in many different situations while underwater. The hardest situation was having to use my elbow to pop the helicopter window out, unbuckle my seatbelt and get out of the helicopter all while being underwater and flipped upside down.

What are your favorite foods?

My favorite foods are steak, baked potato and green beans with bacon and butter. Lots of butter. Oh, and any Southern food that my mom taught me how to cook.

If you could choose one place to go in the world, where would it be?

I am half Norwegian, hence the silent j in my name, so I would go to Norway so that I could learn the history and origins of my family. While there they would pronounce my name the Norwegian way (Shearsten) because in Norway, Kj is pronounced Sh.

What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?

God’s Not Dead is a really great movie.