Panasonic USA Employee Spotlight

meet merai

Meet Maria

1.    When did you first know you wanted to work in the welding industry? What attracted you to this field?
    About 16 years ago, the refrigerator in my house broke down because of a leak. That was the moment I began to have the interest to learn how to solve the leak problem. In my first job in the manufacturing industry, I had to work close to the brazing area. That's where I started my passion for this discipline. My perseverance let me grow up until I became a brazing trainer. I have had the opportunity to develop more than 30 brazing employees who did not dominate this discipline and that´s make me feel so proud.

2.    With women only making up 5% of welders, how would you describe working and leading in a male-dominated industry? 
    It is a great satisfaction (personal and professional) to be able to represent the female gender in this industry. I have participated in several trainings where the brazing trainer has had recognized me for leading this position. They said that they don’t know any woman who performed this role until they knew me.

3.    What led you to your current supervisor role at Panasonic?
    I consider myself a person who love challenges. I always like to learn how to do new things, I also like to share my knowledge with other people, and this is something that motivates me and drives me every day. When I was invited to participate in the open position as brazing trainer, I quickly accepted the challenge because it met my personal and professional expectations to continue growing in the company and let me to increase my knowledge as welder.

4.    What is a typical day like for you?
    Every day is a challenging day at work. A normal day at Hussmann is to audit processes and validate the skills of welders who have already been certified in advance. Normally I have people who are being trained in this process. I also support brazing hiring process. My knowledge allows me to support and work together on the engineering changes related to brazing processes

5.    How would you describe your job to colleagues and family?    
    It is a job that requires all my senses focused at 100%. I always perform my job with this important items on my mind: Safety, Quality and Speed. This require a high level of responsibility to be able to carry out several activities at the same time. And this is what I always share with my family and friends.

6.    How would you describe the work environment/culture?
    It is a great and challenging environment. I am constantly in communication with the brazing employees giving feedback to them about the results and warranties fields. The Brazing Training process has been very significant to our company because the let us to continue improvement all the process every day. Recently I had the opportunity to  implemented the internal brazing competition, This competition allowed us to participate for the very first time on the AP Annual Skills Competition that took place on Hirakata, Japan. This really motivate me to be a better brazing employee, better trainer, better person.

7.    What are the some of the challenges in your line of work that you enjoy the most?
    The challenge that I enjoy the most is when there are changes in the processes. When this happen I have the opportunity to test my knowledge and participate on those changes and suggest different ways to do it better.

8.    What are some words of wisdom you’d give to someone just starting out in the field?
    The best people are those who accept the challenges and are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. If you want to be a brazing trainer, go and fight for that, make it happen and work hard  everyday