Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Valparaiso University
Anna Wint started in the automotive industry as a manufacturing engineer for an engine manufacturer in 2014 and worked as part of a team that helped produce a new diesel engine. In 2017, she transferred to another engine line and began work as a production line quality engineer as well as the shift A3 problem solving coach. In 2020, she moved to the fastener industry and began working at Würth. She currently supports one large customer account and several smaller customer accounts located across the U.S. in regards to quality and production part approvals (PPAPs).
Talk about the culture at your company. What makes it inclusive or supportive of women in engineering and automation?
When I started at Würth, I was warmly welcomed and made a part of the Würth family. The culture here is one that builds people up. From the top down, the mindset has been “We’re a team, we’re a family.” We’re encouraged to learn more about topics we are interested in, with Würth offering various trainings to all employees (effective communication, problem resolution, in depth fastener knowledge, etc.) and supporting continuing education outside the business as well. I’ve never been denied the opportunity to learn and develop my skills. Each time I’ve gone to my manager about something I wanted to learn, I’ve always received the support and help to get that training.
Describe a recent company project (in which you were involved) that went particularly well. How did you and your team go about ensuring success?
One major win has been the growth of the large customer account that I support. In mid-2020 the account was a small one, but now they are one of the larger accounts with the potential for even more growth. There were multiple things we did that ensured our success. One was to have in-depth team trainings with everyone associated with the account about our customer and their requirements and culture. Another major help was that we had, and still have, daily communications with the customer. Those daily communications made sure we avoided any issues with the parts and helped to build their trust in Würth.
What first drew you to engineering and this industry?
Growing up I always wanted to know how things worked: sewing machines, lights, cars, etc. Several members of my extended family are farmers and I remember wanting to know how the tractors and combines worked. I was able to take pre-engineering courses in high school and quickly found that I enjoyed coming up with solutions and working to solve problems. I also took mechanical drafting courses and was able to co-op as a drafting student supporting design engineers at a local company. After working as a manufacturing engineer I became more and more interested in quality and quality management. When an opening came in the quality team, I transferred there.
Describe your biggest career challenge. How did you solve it — or what was the outcome or lesson learned?
One of the challenges I faced was (and is) getting people on board with quality. Most of the machine operators that I worked with as a production line quality engineer were focused on making their shift production goals, quality was second place. I found that the best way of getting everyone on board with quality was when and how I approached them. Instead of going “This is our policy, you must follow it”, I took the time to discuss what was going on, why the policy was in place, and how it would help the operators. It might take an extra five minutes, but it helped everyone buy in to the quality mindset a little bit more.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Do what you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to say “I want to do this” and work for it. Take as many of the opportunities for additional trainings as possible. Not only is it the chance to learn more about a topic, it offers the chance to learn new viewpoints from others in the class as well.
Filed Under: Engineering Diversity & Inclusion