Typical day on the job:
- Facilitating the work of teams, brainstorming, making decisions, strategy planning, managing meetings (30%)
- Data mining and data analysis (30%)
- Teaching, coaching, and mentoring employees on the Six Sigma methodology (20%)
- Providing advice (consulting) on improvements and innovation (10%)
- Leading projects (10%)
My job is very diverse as I work with multiple corporate functions such as commercial (sales and marketing), supply chain, R&D, manufacturing, public affairs, and environmental health and safety.
My job gives me the ability to bring and apply expertise for the benefit and success of my colleagues and the corporation. A corporation is a generator of wealth and I feel extremely privileged to be part of it. I enjoy the diversity of my job and the fact that I interact with colleagues from all over the world.
I work with a computer in a personal office or in a conference room. I spend a lot of time in phone conferences working with coworkers in other locations.
I typically work 50 hours/week. Overtime is not required, but the environment is fast paced.
Tools you can’t live without:
- Mind Manager for brainstorming
- Information-structuring software
- JMP statistical software
- Tableau Data visualization software
- SharePoint team collaboration software
- Adobe Acrobat
- Corel Designer Technical Suite
- MS Office
Best productivity trick:
Use the methodology of Getting Things Done (GTD). GTD is a time-management method, described in a book of the same title by productivity consultant David Allen.
The GTD method advocates moving tasks and commitments crowding the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. These prevent people from forgetting things, they bring structure and flow to work and, and they help with focusing on taking actions.
Best career advice you’ve received:
The three key ingredients for a satisfying career are: passion, competency, and alignment. First, find something to do which you are passionate about. Second, develop expertise on it, be competent, know your stuff, be the skilled go-to person. And third, make sure that this something that you are passionate about is aligned to what the employer or institution needs to have done, and is therefore appreciated and rewarded.
If you lack alignment with what your employer needs, you are spending your time on a hobby and your job could be eliminated; if you do not have the necessary skill, you'll always be a rookie and will not be trusted; and if you are missing the passion, then you'll always be condemned to doing chores and not able to extract much satisfaction from them. Find the sweet spot and work will never feel like work.
It is hard to guess how one is going to like a particular job, so talking to others that are currently doing that job about what is it like and what they like and do not like about it is a great source of insight. Better yet is to experience the job yourself through trial periods or internships.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
Attention to detail and natural curiosity. Finding collaboration with people enjoyable.
Essential habit you wish you’d started earlier:
I wish I had started as an undergrad attending national ACS meetings and engaging as a volunteer in local sections, divisions, and committees of the ACS. ACS meetings have given me the opportunity to present my research work and to learn from my peers. I have developed as a professional and have built my professional network by volunteering in local sections, divisions, and committees of the ACS. I have developed my leadership skills by agreeing to lead subcommittees and committees.