Primary job responsibilities:
I manage an interdisciplinary team that provides global sales, service, engineering, and application support for the Process Analytics business segment. This segment makes the instruments that oil refineries use to monitor their processes (including distillation, sulfur/nitrogen, viscosity, flash point). We help refineries increase their productivity and profits. I make sure that everything is covered: customers' orders are fulfilled, service issues are resolved.
Typical day on the job:
I spend 25% of my time in meetings, 25% managing people, and 50% coordinating organizational activities.
Our customers are all over the world, so Asia starts up before my dinnertime, and Europe gets going when it's very early in the morning here. I check my email from the time I get up until I go to bed, to make sure I'm not leaving a customer hanging.
I travel a few days a month to visit customers, product distributors, and our company's other locations. I am active with ASTM (a standard-setting organization), and I attend their activities about three times a year to make sure that our equipment complies with their standard methods. I go to all of the ACS national meetings, as well as other conferences and trade shows.
I work in an open office environment, which consists of 4–8 desks with 5-foot dividers. Everyone, from the President down, has the same size desk and work space. My team, except for two offsite employees, resides in one of the 8 tops (open office areas). This open environment eases communication and increases efficiency. You can see who is in the office at any time just by looking around. I have a laptop with a dock and monitor, and a telephone. For private phone conversations and meetings, we have various sizes of conference rooms.
I work about 60–70 hours a week because I must be accessible for global support. I am salaried, so this is just part of the job and not considered overtime. The environment is fast paced.
Tools you can’t live without:
I use Internet Explorer and the Microsoft Office suite of products (Outlook/Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Lync). I rely a lot on my Outlook calendar. I also use SplashID Safe password management software, Dropbox cloud data storage, and Adobe Reader for pdf documents.
What you like most about your job:
I like working with a team of people from varied backgrounds and expertise and finding ways to get the best out of all for the good of the organization. I also love the global travel aspect. I make sure that I get to do at least one "touristy" activity on every trip I take, and my boss supports that. You have to have that "me" time, and I've gotten to see some very interesting places.
Best productivity trick:
I set tasks and reminders to ensure that everything gets done (eventually).
Best career advice you’ve received:
Do what you love and love what you do.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
I am a great organizer of people and efforts. This has served me well in my job as well as my volunteer efforts for ACS.
Essential habit you wish you’d started earlier:
Networking — although I think I was doing it long before it had a name.
Favorite ACS resource:
C&EN. I love the electronic version, since I am saving some trees and can peruse the contents quickly and key in on what I want to know more about.
How you've benefited from being an ACS member:
Participation in ACS governance allowed me to take on leadership roles in a friendly environment. I am a counselor and the chair of long-range planning in the ACS Division of Energy and Fuels, which is a result of a merger with the ACS Divisions of Petroleum and Fuel Chemistry. I'm also the webmaster and social media person for the ACS Women Chemists Committee. I am the chair of the ACS Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group, and the treasurer of my local (Houston, TX) ACS section. Practicing my leadership skills with ACS allowed me to spread my wings long before I took on any leadership roles in the work environment.