When Patti Mielke, ’86, graduated with her degree in information systems, she began work with one of the city’s most sought-after companies – Anheuser-Busch. Throughout her long career, Mielke has seen –and implemented –significant changes in technology.
“Anheuser-Busch was a well-known company when I got out of school. It was every grad’s dream to get a job there,” said Mielke.
Mielke, who was originally hired as a contractor responsible for system administration, recently spent almost three years managing a $24 million budget and a team that replaced every computer and server in all the U.S. breweries. In between, she worked in programming, networking, software implementation and other roles.
After the company’s merger with InBev, she was fortunate enough to keep her job.
“It’s still a good fit for me,” said Mielke. “But it has been different. My team went from 86 people to 16. Now I am a team leader for a group that supports the systems and networks we built in the last 10 to 15 years.”
A conversation with a Maryville professor first set her on the technology career path.
“I’d always liked electronics and when one of the business professors told me about all these facets in the computer field – programming, design, installation – something clicked for me. Maryville was one of the best decisions I ever made,” said Mielke.
Mielke enjoys her work, but her constant joy is her adopted son, Ryan.
“When I first saw Ryan, he was 13 months old, he had lost most of his hair, he was really skinny and he didn’t know how to hug. When I put my arms around him it was like holding a board. He was scared, but didn’t cry. Two days later, he was holding out his arms for me to pick him up,” said Mielke.
Nearly nine years later, Ryan plays soccer for his church team, is an advanced red belt in karate, and he and his mom spend a lot of time traveling, boating, fishing and serving at organizations like The Bridge which feed, clothe and shelter those less fortunate.
“My greatest achievement and decision in life, by far, was the adoption of my son, Ryan,” said Mielke. “He makes me laugh every day, and he is my greatest joy.”