Industrial Engineering

Ask an Alum: Meet Michael Cheatham, Class of 2012

Michael Cheatham, ’12

Name: Michael Cheatham


Year Graduated: 2012


Degree from Clemson: B.S. in Industrial Engineering


Michael is also serves on Clemson University’s Board of Young Alumni for Industrial Engineering.


How did your experience at Clemson University help you find your first position after graduation? 

While my Clemson education fully prepared me to work in the manufacturing and supply chain field, I feel my Clemson experience was even more important to my early career success. Employers want future leaders– people who care about others and want to make a difference. Clemson taught me how to work with teams to accomplish difficult tasks, how to effectively communicate, and how to be accountable. Employers want Clemson students because they are good students AND because they have good people skills.


If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?  

I wouldn’t do anything differently. I love Clemson and I love the IE field.


What would you look for if you were in the position to hire new graduates from CU? 

Your grades are only a barrier to entry.  They are important, but only to get the interview. After that, it’s about people skills, work ethic, drive, and passion.


What influenced your decision to attend your graduate school? Was it worth it?  

While I considered going to graduate school immediately after graduating from Clemson, I decided to pursue a career in the manufacturing and supply chain world, instead. Early in my career, my company gave me the opportunity to obtain my masters in Supply Chain Management from Penn State University while working full time. For me, it was the right move at the right time. It allowed me to further my expertise in my field while continuing to advance my career.


What advice would you give to current IE students?

The most effective engineers are those who can clearly communicate. Communication is at the core to strong leadership. Always look for opportunities to improve and hone these skills.


How can we get in touch with you?  

Feel free to contact me through email at