She ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazines’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” and 35th among Forbes magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Last week, she joined the likes of some of the most well known celebrities, entrepreneurs, athletes, and philanthropists after being named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2014. Who is she? Her name is Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors and our 2014 commencement speaker!

Find out how a career that began at age 18, flourished into a role as the first female CEO of any global automaker:

Mary Barra grew up in Waterford, Michigan in a General Motors family. Her father, a tool-and-die maker, worked at Pontiac Motor Division for 39 years. Her own automotive career began in 1980 as a General Motors Institute co-op student.

With a career that has spanned decades, Mary has contributed to GM in many roles. From plant manager at Detroit’s Hamtramck Assembly to vice president of global manufacturing, vice president of global human resources and senior vice president of global product development.

Prior to her appointment as CEO, she served as executive vice president of global product development and global purchasing and supply chain, responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM cars, trucks and crossover vehicles around the world. Strengthening General Motors’ product development and championing fuel-efficient engines and lighter-weight vehicles.

Her vision, business acumen, engineering skills, leadership and passion for automobiles, as well as her strong support for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education has won her recognition across the globe. Please join us in welcoming Mary Barra to commencement this Saturday! You can follow the conversation online with #MgoGrad, and via livestream on!

Source: University Record