Let’s Get Real, Q&A 03/13/18

Hello! This is the first Q&A post, I wanted these posts to be a little more informal.  I thought you might want to get to know me and my blog a bit better.

Why start a blog?

From a personal standpoint sometimes I have trouble expressing myself, or wording things in a way so my true meaning gets across.  Writing for me is both a way to escape and connect based on the content.

Growing up, and even in college, I imagined adulthood would be different. It is a lot harder and demanding than I thought it would be.  To say I was completely unprepared would be an understatement, and I think our families and the adults around us tend to shield us from a lot of things, they want us to retain our innocence for as long as possible. I understand their intention is to protect us but I also think it can be a disservice to us as well.

To be clear I don’t think parents should sit down their kids and tell them about all the struggles of adulthood or how challenging life is. There is a lack of life-how-to taught in high school and almost none in college. Knowledge is power, teach us about mental health and how to take care of ourselves. Teach us about taxes, preparing healthy food, and relationships. Tell us failing is part of life, and that it is not easy to go to work every single day no matter what you choose to do.  Be real with us before we get to the real world.

When I got out of college I was prepared for my job from an education standpoint and that is about it. I wasn’t prepared or even warned about the emotional hardship working takes on you.  Sure I saw that my parents were tired after work but they never really said anything about it. Self-care wasn’t a word in my vocabulary upon graduating college. Everyone around me thought I was doing well, even great.  The truth was, I held everything in because I thought everyone else had “figured it out,” and I was just flailing around like a balloon in the wind.

Now I have a different view of adulthood, my way of evaluating success and failure has evolved. In some respects, I feel like I made it to the other side… of the kiddy pool, but now when I do my next lap I know I will make it.  After adulting, or trying to adult for the last few years, I know that nobody knows what they are doing, adults are just kinda winging it but they have the life experience to make more informed decisions. So I want people to learn from my mistakes, and have someone to relate to.

What experience do you have?

Enough to feel like I can be helpful!

I unknowingly picked a very difficult field for women. When I was growing up I was never told I couldn’t do something, and if someone did (outside of my home environment) it was basically a challenge for me to prove I could.

Example: In 6th grade, the boys said we couldn’t play football with them at recess because we were GIRLS, well I showed them.  I vaguely remember making a sign, asking my dad to play catch with me and oh, being absolutely terrible at it.

In college, I wanted to join Baja SAE, a collegiate car building competition, 100 colleges get together and put a self-built car through its paces. UH COOL and the experience would look ah-mazing on my resume. So I went to the first team meeting, and I kid you not, they told me they didn’t want a girl on the team.  It was a boys club.  Had they known me in 6th grade, they would have known they had hit the “are you effing serious” button.

So I went to the faculty advisor for the team, he was really excited that I wanted to join and that a college club could not discriminate against me because I was a girl.  I knew no one on the team but I didn’t care, I knew I was going to be part of it. Of course, they made me be the secretary but I took it in stride.  My senior year the person who was MOST against me joining the team and the president asked me to take over for him. HA HA HA, yeah take that.

I have a lot of people experience with people both good and bad, so in other words, I have perspective. I know how to spin a sentence or rearrange a thought for it to go over well in different environments, this is not something that is inherently easy for me.  I have stumbled and blubbered my way through many situations, not always coming out on top, but always learning.

In my short time out of college, coming up on 4 years now (omg, no), I have done A LOT.

  • I have had two different jobs at two different companies
    • Product development engineering
    • Manufacturing engineering
  • I have traveled for work to customer sites to implement my own engineering solutions, attend trade shows and obtain training.
  • I am a mentor to two interns right now, but a resource for our entire intern group of 7 people.
  • I manage projects and equipment installs.
  • I attend career fairs and interview interns.
  • I have had more than my fair share of working with difficult people.
  • I’ve been “let go.”

All these experiences have made me learn, and I admit I was not a willing partipant in all of them.  When there is something I really want, I do it. I really want to blog, so here I am.

What are the particulars of your job?

I create capable processes to assembly quality parts, assembly machine set up and troubleshooting, implementation of new assembly equipment, and utilize Solidworks to design of new fixturing and tooling. I work with many different groups on a daily basis such as: maintenance, purchasing, IT, product engineering and facilities.

I also mentor two interns, assign and review their work.  They are technically doing part of my job – which is covering the daily manufacturing needs of my area.  I have recently been developing automated assembly equipment with programmable logic controllers.  My latest project is almost in the troubleshooting phase.

What do you like best about your job?

Problem-solving.  Designing new things in Solidworks is probably my favorite. Getting to see something you drew be made and tested is pretty cool, when it works it is very rewarding.  Sometimes it takes a few tries. Recently I have been getting more into programming.  It is completely different from what I have done in the past, some days it is really hard and I don’t get very far but it is all part of the learning process.

What do you like least about your job?

Paperwork and documentation.  They are critical for retracing your steps and providing the correct information but I think it boring.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this little segment on me! Have a question? Email me!

Thanks for stopping by!

-C

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