Our Industry Person of the Week is Maria Joaquin-Cunningham Operations Manager at Xylem Inc.
Q: How did you get started working in your field?
Maria: As a kid, I was always fascinated by science and ocean life. At the age of 14, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in marine biology. I obtained a degree in Marine Biology and Chemistry after completing my college education. My knowledge of chemistry helped me secure a job at a chemical company immediately after college. I worked my way up from being a chemist to a manufacturing manager, and finally an operations manager at Xylem, where I am responsible for overseeing the production of water pumps.
Q: What do you love the most about your job? What are you most proud of?
Maria: Working alongside operators to continuously improve processes, creating a safer environment and boosting productivity.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work or new to the field?
Maria: Always strive to improve processes and feel comfortable on the manufacturing floor.
Q: Can you talk about a project you recently worked on?
Maria: I have been working on increasing production for one of our product lines. Collaborating with cross-functional teams across the company to provide customers with the best water pump solution has been rewarding.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
Maria: It is important to encourage more women to pursue careers in manufacturing.