Moulding a Career: Part 6
Maria is thriving, supervising five team members in Broanmain’s injection moulding department and has increased productivity and sales for the company.
Entry 6: Achieving ‘Advanced’ status
To reach advanced status in less than 18 months is a major accomplishment. It’s testament to Maria Lopez’s enthusiasm for learning and appetite to extend her knowledge, as well as the support of her colleagues at Broanmain that she was able to realise her ambitions and strive for new goals.
In February 2018, Maria completed the Advanced Injection Moulding course at the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Academy. Aimed at high-level engineers, the course challenges delegates in all areas, specifically the application of mathematics, science and analytics to optimise the injection moulding process.
Reflecting on how much her knowledge and confidence has increased, Maria says she feels completely on a par with her professional peers and can hold her own in workshops. “Some of the content in the early days seems relatively straightforward now I look back, but it was an important stepping stone in my professional development,” she explained.
“Although I hold a degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Process Systems Engineering, I’d never encountered or worked with injection moulding machines in the start of last year,” she continued. “Being able to apply this scientific understanding has been a definite advantage, as I believe it has accelerated my development. But having access to external courses and an employer that is fully committed to developing its workforce is equally valuable.
Darren Vater Hutchison, who has observed Maria’s development journey from the IIM (Introduction to Injection Moulding) to the AIM (Advanced Injection Moulding) module, says Maria has shown determination to succeed throughout her training with him.
“I developed the courses so any newcomer to injection moulding could start with the basic course, then after the recommended timed gap to put the theory into practice, return for the next. That way the knowledge becomes more embedded,” he explained.
“It took Maria less than 18 months to attain her Advanced status. She continues to learn and get in contact occasionally for advice, which we welcome. We can’t teach experience, but we can provide the tools and the support to make people feel more confident making decisions that lead to tangible business improvements and help increase job satisfaction among delegates.”
Fifteen months on from starting as a trainee in January 2017, Maria is thriving, supervising five team members in Broanmain’s injection moulding department, as well as increasing productivity and sales for the company.
“I am so proud that my input is making a tangible difference to Broanmain’s business,” Maria says. “My knowledge of the plastics industry has increased massively and I’m super excited about what the future holds.”
Coming up: Women in Plastics is going to be following Maria’s progress as she continues her career at Broanmain. Look out for an exclusive interview coming soon.