January 23, 2023

Christina Gustin's college days were instrumental in path to Rivian

Christina Gustin headshot
Christina Gustin graduated in 2015 from Wayne State University. She's now a senior ergonomics engineer at Rivian.

Staying busy on campus helped Christina Gustin get the most out of her college experience.

From pledging the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority to playing flute in the marching band, Gustin was a very involved student at Wayne State University.

“I loved my time at Wayne State because I got to experience a diverse number of classes, activities and people,” said Gustin, who earned a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering and a master of science in biomechanics. “I've taken away so many leadership, communication and research skills, as well as an attitude of lifelong learning.”

Gustin was involved in student organizations like Circle K International, Pre-Professional Medical Society, Honors Student Association, Society of Women Engineers and the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Rochester High School alumna also volunteered countless hours at Pass Community Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center and St. John Providence Health System.

Collectively, her Wayne State experiences were instrumental in her journey to Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer and automotive technology company, where Gustin is a senior ergonomics engineer.

Gustin and seven other recent Wayne State graduates are featured in a current billboard campaign along area freeways.


“I absolutely love where I am in my career now,” said Gustin, who works in Plymouth Township in suburban Detroit. “I've adapted and been through many highs and lows, but have developed a career path in ergonomics engineering that I am so passionate about.”

Gustin credits her early success on the academic rigor she received at WSU, as well as the work on class projects with multidisciplinary groups, leading housing and campus initiatives with diverse people, and being part of multiple campus communities, including the marching band.

“Marching band has always been a part of my life,” she said. “It has taught me structure, discipline, organization and leadership. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.”

As a WSU student, Gustin took advantage of summer internship opportunities and fellowships that set her up for success. She gained valuable experience with MRI analysis to observe brain activity and performed biomedical research in area hospitals where she had the chance to experience live surgeries, dissect cadavers, and work in labs to understand the physiological aspects of the human body to better engineer products centered around it.

“I also did internships with brand marketing companies,” she said. “That allowed me to use my communication and organization skills to promote large companies like Microsoft and Spotify around campus.” 

As her career takes off, Gustin says current and future college students should take advantage of opportunities to explore and discover who they are and what they want to become.

“Be open to changes,” she said, “and embrace both challenges and opportunities that come to you.” 

As a senior ergonomics engineer, Gustin has the responsibility of protecting factory operators by making sure the designs and processes of the work environment are safe.

“I have been able to make lasting impacts that will be a stepping stone for even better things to come,” she said. “Rivian has given me the opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment while truly having fun and making a lasting impact on the world. I love that I get to work on projects that help build a future for our kids and keep demonstrating our curious and courageous attitudes for the world.”


Bill Roose
Phone: 313-577-5699
Email: bill.roose@wayne.edu

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