Alumni Spotlight:  Mitchell Strider

mitchell strider

   Mitchell Strider is a second-generation Bulldog who grew up in Sumrall and has recently been spending time working on the most remote continent in the world—Antarctica.  

A 2020 industrial technology major at MSU, Strider has always loved science and wanted to pursue a STEM-related career. After graduation, he was hired to fill a leadership role in the Mississippi-based logistics company EverGreen Industries Inc. safety department, where he gained invaluable experience in the field.  

“I realized safety is an important aspect of modern industry that was a good fit for someone with my background,” said Strider.
He later landed a job as a safety specialist with a company specializing in solving engineering and scientific challenges worldwide, including at the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica.  

“My first and foremost responsibility as part of the safety leadership team within the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernization Program is ensuring the safety and well-being of our multinational workforce,” said Strider.  

“Antarctica was an incredible experience. Living there was a challenge both mentally and physically. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you enjoy a test of endurance, it is a one-of-a-kind opportunity,” he said. “I had been interested in the Antarctic Program for some time and routinely read about their exciting work. I threw my résumé into the ring when I saw a posting for an open position, and the rest is history!”  

Strider spent approximately seven consecutive months on the continent, located at McMurdo Station, which is over 2000 miles from the nearest human settlement.  

“It was isolated, mountainous, and beautiful,” he said. “Part of what made the experience so incredible was the diverse responsibilities I was allowed to undertake. Of course, I had my core safety duties, but I could also help in other areas of project management and ‘on-the-ground’ execution of work. Fancy leadership titles dissolve down there. Everyone must be willing to get their hands dirty and work in whatever capacity to solve challenges.”   

He continued, “We had a busy schedule and tight deadlines due to the importance of the project to our national interest. We worked six days a week but didn't let that stop us from enjoying our unique environment. We hiked on various trails in the evenings after work, and on Sunday afternoons, people would spend time in the library or visit with friends in one of the two bars on the station. McMurdo is set up like a small town, in a sense, so there is a strong sense of community with access to facilities like a chapel, a coffee shop operated by volunteers, a music room, a library, and more.”   

Strider credits his MSU education for helping to prepare him for this unique role and equipping him with the skills needed to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds.  

“My time at Mississippi State has proven invaluable throughout my career and has helped me face and overcome many unique and daunting technical challenges,” he said.  

When asked what advice he would give current and future MSU students, Strider said, "Never let uncertainty or fear of the unknown stop you from pursuing what matters most. The most rewarding opportunities usually require a leap of faith!”