This week’s Industry Person of the Week is Alicia Washington, M&A Senior Project Manager/Functional Offering Leader at Dow.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Alicia: Honestly, by fate and luck. Due to my love of math, I applied for a scholarship while still in high school and got a chance to work at our local utility company for 2 summers before heading off to college. There I met great mentors who exposed me to engineering. My career sort of took off from there with many more internship experiences. Ultimately, I found I was most challenged and motivated working in manufacturing environments.
Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Alicia: Variety. I never do the exact same thing from one day to the next There’s always a new problem to tackle or new strategy to develop. This keeps me learning and growing.
I am most proud of my safety record during the time I served in roles supervising technicians and managing labor-intensive projects. Nobody ever suffered an injury on my watch. I like to think that I helped foster a culture of trust where employees knew it was OK to slow down for safety.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Alicia: I would tell them to spend time learning their craft. Ask all the questions they can think of and find multiple mentors; technical, personal, professional, etc. High-performing employees typically flourish in areas of both technical competence and interpersonal skills.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Alicia: I recently pivoted from manufacturing to commercial and it’s a brand new world. However, one thing I’m finding is that my maintenance and manufacturing background is key in being able to navigate how a “good deal” should look. Everything from pricing to framing the deal hinges on knowing the assets, their capabilities, and their history. On my current project, I’m getting a chance to pull all the data together, consolidate it and tell a wonderful story of asset integrity and reliability, This just confirms for me that the path I chose has opened multiple doors for me.
Q: Anything Else you would like to add?
Alicia: I would just encourage anyone thinking about working in manufacturing to spend a few years learning “how the company makes money.” There are lots of attractive jobs out there from marketing to tech. I believe there is something special about those who start on the “shop floor” and understand the what, why, and how and then later transition into the more attractive roles. A solid foundation is key!
Connect with Alicia on LinkedIn.
THANK YOU, ALICIA! WE LOOK FORWARD TO KEEPING UP WITH YOU THROUGH THE #PUMPTALK COMMUNITY!
KNOW AN AMAZING PERSON WHO IS MAKING VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS WITHIN INDUSTRY? NOMINATE THEM TO BE AN “INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE WEEK”!