Check out the women at Fairbanks Morse who are powering the world forward! In our Women in Manufacturing series, we're highlighting the inspiring women who are pursuing their manufacturing careers at Fairbanks Morse. This month we hear from Linda Rodriguez, who shares her highlight moments at Fairbanks Morse and what it’s like working in this industry.
Tell us a bit about your job and what your work looks like day- to- day.
I am the Director of Project Management here at Fairbanks Morse. I find my job to be both very challenging as well as very rewarding. I would say 90% of my role includes communicating with teams internally and externally throughout the day. My main tasks are engaging with other Fairbanks Morse teams, such as finance, operations and engineering, to always know the status of the projects we are working on.
How did you arrive at your current position? What attracted you to a career in the manufacturing industry?
I first started my career on finance and marketing teams before joining the manufacturing industry. I found these roles challenging and exciting. However, it wasn’t until I moved into project management at Fairbanks Morse that my interests really peaked. I found this path particularly intriguing because I have the opportunity to work with every functional group within Fairbanks Morse and as a result, I am able to learn a lot. In this role, not only are you connecting with all departments internally, but also communicating with the government, suppliers, and customers at all levels within their organization.
For young women exploring career choices, how would you explain the benefits of a career in manufacturing? What advice would you give young women who are interested in the industry?
In manufacturing, people have perceptions that it’s an all-male dominated industry. My advice would be that young women shouldn’t be intimidated to enter this sector because every person has their own skill set that they bring to the table. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find someone willing to help you learn. Don’t be intimidated by a male-dominated field. You offer value and if you are willing to learn, you will be successful. Everyone has strengths, you just need to know what they are and make them work to your advantage.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Fairbanks Morse?
I think I have to share at least two of my favorite things. There are so many good people here who genuinely love working at Fairbanks Morse that also have great skill sets and talent - that’s my first favorite thing. The second involves my upbringing. I grew up in a military family- both my brother and father have served. Building and supplying engines for the military makes me feel like we’re contributing to the success of our county and the military.
What’s been your best moment at Fairbanks Morse so far?
My best moment was when I was invited to go out to sea on a naval ship for one week. I was very hesitant because it required me to be out of contact for an entire week. So of course, I had to speak to my dad about the opportunity and he immediately told me this is a once in a lifetime chance. I also thought it would give me a sense of what my father had experienced while out on a ship during his time in the military. I ended up accepting the opportunity and the first call I made when we got back to shore was to my dad. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I was able to meet the customer, the U.S. Navy, suppliers, and learn what is done on sea trials. It was like I was living the life of the U.S. Navy sailor for a whole week!
What are some of your favorite activities outside of work?
When I’m not at work, you can usually find me at the dog park with my husband and pup, cooking, playing golf, hitting the gym with my husband, spending time with my daughters or most recently, riding my new 4-wheeler!