This is another Alumni Spotlight, where we talk to PSWE alumni about their careers and experiences upon graduating from Purdue. Today, we feature Claudia Aguilar, who graduated from Purdue in industrial engineering.
1. Where do you work, and for how long have you worked there?
I work for The Hershey Company and it will be 3 years in March.
2. Why did you decide to go to Purdue?
I was fortunate to have an older sister study civil engineering at Purdue. I had the opportunity to visit Purdue multiple times during my junior and senior year of high school and grew to love the campus. Once I decided to pursue engineering, Purdue was the perfect fit. It’s an excellent university with a great reputation, plenty to do and having an older sister there with me made it seem like home away from home.
3. Why did you join PSWE?
PSWE was my support group that got me through school. It’s a great way to meet people/make friends and give Purdue a ‘small school’ feel. It allows students to be as involved as they want, there really is something for everyone. Not only does it allow students to begin building their network with classmates, but students also have access to professionals. It was a great resume builder and helped prepare me for life after college. I was fortunate to be on the executive board for three years ( I was an officer my senior year). PSWE really helped break me out of my shell.
4. What do you like and dislike about your job?
At Hershey, I work in the continuous improvement group. My role is a mixture of a typical industrial engineering position and an autonomous maintenance SME (subject matter expert). I enjoy the fast pace and constant challenges a manufacturing environment provides. It’s great seeing the immediate impact your work can make. There’s always something new to learn and processes to improve. However, the culture and old-school manufacturing environment can be challenging to work in. My role requires the engagement of hourly employees and it’s not always easy to get in a union facility. Free chocolate is always a plus though. 😉
5. How do you balance your work and personal life?
This is something I’m constantly working on. It’s easy to turn an 8 hour day into a 10 or 12 hour day. Although it’s something I’m still working on, if I stay late I make sure not to bring any work home with me. I’ve noticed that when I work long hours and take work home, I’m not as productive or engaged the next day and it starts a vicious cycle of long work days. I try to use the time away from work to do things I enjoy and make sure they’re completely unrelated to work. Lately, I’ve been crafting, working out and learning how to play the piano in my spare time.
-Subhiksha, your editor