As part of the Operations Management Trainee Program, I have been placed in Mason, OH as the Quality Assurance Supervisor. I studied food science in college, so it seemed like a natural fit.
Handling quality in a manufacturing environment has been an unbelievable growth experience. Critical thinking and decision making skills are key in the quality department. There are many day-to-day things that must be handled such as managing any process change that is going on in the plant, managing customer requirements and audits, and approving ingredients and products based on certain criteria. At any given moment, you may be asked to handle something new within the plant. In the quality department, prioritization is key. To maintain a well-structured organization, you must be skilled at deciding what to focus your time and resources on.
I would say that there is a lot to gain by choosing the quality route in the operations trainee program. On the quality team, you work with every department in the plant and must maintain cross-functional relationships with them. For example, if there is a question about Kosher products you must work with the Materials, Receiving, Processing and Sanitation teams. There is a lot to learn and gain by working so closely with each department. As someone who had no previous manufacturing experience, I’ve learned about every department thus far since quality needs to be involved in everything, even at a moment’s notice.
Additionally, deep dives into the types of products made at Mason have helped me grow my knowledge within the field of food science. Here, we focus on food service items which consist of condiments, dressings, and acidified foods. My background in science has allowed me to help improve some processes here that were already in place.
I feel as though I was placed exactly where I needed to be. It’s great to be at a job where you feel as though you’re gaining at lot from being in the position, but also that the company is gaining by having you on staff. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.