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Getting into Automotive
What inspired you to go into the automotive and mobility field?
Did you to grow up with family members in the automotive industry?
What interests led you to consider a career in automotive?
I’ve always been interested in cars. Focusing on mechanical engineering in college led me to grow that interest and exposed me to the new wave of automotive technology (mechanical vs. electric).
When were you first exposed to automotive?
I went through Omron’s technical sales program at our headquarters in Hoffman Estate, IL. After completing the program, the trainees were able to choose where we would like to move long-term. I chose Detroit because I knew I would be able to visit automotive plants and see the manufacturing process firsthand. The first automotive plant I visited was a door handle supplier. Prior to my position at Omron, I had a general impression of all the parts it takes to manufacture a vehicle, but I never took into account how precise the products needed to be made and the process for making them. After seeing the process, I thought “every single item on a car needs to be designed, manufactured, and examined somehow.” That’s what drove my automotive industry interest.
Growing up, what was your first impression of the automotive industry? How would you have described the industry?
Growing up, I had the stereotypical view of the automotive industry. I think my impression was probably similar to a lot of people who haven’t been exposed to it. I thought of things like steam engines, gas, gears, and coal. After getting to see what things really look like, I thought it was amazing how complex the technology and engineering design can be during each and every step of creating a product. Automotive plants are incredibly high-tech and the dollar investment in each plant is amazing.
What college did you attend, what was your major, and why did you choose that path?
- California State University of Chico
- Major: Mechanical Engineering
- Minor: Anthropology
- Started as a Theatre Arts major, switched to Psychology, then Sociology, then Anthropology, and finally landed on Mechanical Engineering.
Automotive Career: Then and Now
What opportunities did you have in college that allowed you to explore or start your career in automotive, including any co-ops or internships?
I had an internship at Promex Industries, and a student research internship for my senior project.
What was your first job post-college?
My first job post-college was with Omron.
What was your role now? What projects and programs do you work on? What does a typical day look like?
I am a technical sales associate with Omron. I advance sales for Omron products in the Detroit, MI region.
A typical day involves:
- Meeting in person with customers to view their plants and evaluate if there are potential problems that Omron products/engineers may help with.
- Taking phone calls to solve problems and schedule meetings, and getting the correct people with different specialties involved.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see myself starting to look into a management role, or another position with Omron.
Advice for Young Students
Knowing what you know now, if you could give your younger self one tip or piece of advice, what would it be?
Have fun as much as you can before you are in your career. Take advantage of the time you have. Work hard and believe it will pay off.
What advice do you have for high school students who are interested in automotive, but unsure if it’s the career for them?
Automotive doesn’t just mean engineering. Any type of work can be related to something in the automotive industry.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Good things come with time. Be patient.
What do you love about working in the automotive industry (and specifically the automotive industry in Michigan)?
I love how the community is connected throughout the state. It is exciting to work with people who know others that I may come into contact with at different companies. All the automotive companies in Michigan know each other and may have worked with each other in the past. Being in my position I use that to my advantage.
Do you participate in any organizations outside of work? Or have any hobbies (unrelated to automotive)? Do you feel the work-life balance in the auto industry allows you to continue these passions?
While I am not part of any certified organizations, I like spending time with friends, being able to hike, travel, and workout. Work-Life balance is a necessity in my way of living and I feel the automotive industry allows me to take full advantage.