First-ever job experience as a purchasing intern
I was in my eighth out of nine semesters in college when I applied to Schneider Electric’s internship program in the purchasing department at Monterrey 6 Plant in Mexico. I had an interview and got hired within 2 days. It was exciting to start my first formal work experience, but I was also a little nervous at the same time.
I have always been an extroverted person, so I love working with many people at the plant. A lot of what I was learning was not taught in college, and my leader was so impressed with my performance, he extended my internship for another 6 months before I graduated. The Schneider Electric internship program is very flexible for students. This program allowed me to fulfill my responsibilities at college, and in turn, develop professionally in an international company.
My colleagues had mentioned the Schneider Development Program to me several times while I was an intern. I was reluctant about applying for it, but my colleagues convinced me. Weeks later, I was selected to be part of this program. Everything was going great, and it was about to get even better.
My journey in Schneider Electric’s Development Program
The program lasted for 2 years. During the program, I had the opportunity to work in four different positions within Schneider Electric’s Global Supply Chain and at two different facilities in Mexico.
My first two positions were Warehouse Supervisor and Manufacturing Supervisor at Monterrey Transformers Operation plant (Monterrey 2) in 2019. For me, this year was the most challenging of all. As my first full-time job, I worked on the shop floor and led a group of over 35 people who have diverse working experiences. I did not know how the machines worked, the material supply process, or how to handle such large groups of people. I was fortunate to find out that Schneider Electric offers very comprehensive training courses for all kinds of areas, and also encourages collaboration among all work teams. It did not take me long to adapt and begin to solve the production and capacity barriers the department presented. It may sound hard to believe, but the best project I did during these two years was in my first role as a warehouse supervisor!
After the first year, I moved to the Reynosa Plant in January 2020, where we produce electronics, a totally different product from transformers I used to work with. For the first 6 months, I played the role of manufacturing engineer for the Surface Mount Technology area, which is in charge of feeding the plant by manufacturing sub-assemblies for most of the production lines. I had the opportunity to participate in projects to improve the capacity of our lines and reduce costs and the pandemic situation made everything even more challenging. Leading projects and meetings with so many people working from home for the first time was not easy, but it helped me overcome challenges out of my comfort zone once again.
In the last 6 months of the program, I was off the production floor for the first time as a Flow Controller in the Upstream Department. All the knowledge obtained in the warehouse, the production lines, and the manufacturing area helped me adapt quickly and learn even more about our supply chain, which I was already in love with.
After graduating from the Schneider Development Program
I finished the program in December 2020 and transferred to the position of Upstream Flow Controller at the Reynosa plant. I stayed another 10 months in this role, where I learned to manage an international electronics desk during the global shortage that we are experiencing today. I had the opportunity to participate in transfer projects and lead the shortage escalations of the plant at the North America and the global level.
Recently, I moved to the position of Plant Master Data Analyst at Reynosa in October 2021, and I am still learning a lot about the role. Although I only have 4 years of experience at Schneider, I’ve already had the opportunity to develop myself in 5 different positions. It allowed me to learn, overcome challenges, and grow at a personal and professional level.
There have been days at the beginning of my journey when I wondered if I was ready to have these responsibilities or if I should exit the program and seek a less accelerated development. But my leader at that time always supported, motivated, and pushed me to overcome every obstacle and every challenge. I want to thank Iliana Marlene Gonzalez especially, the current Supply Chain Manager at Monterrey 2. The Schneider Development Program allowed me to expand my network, and I always felt the support of my colleagues, employees, and my leaders in each of the challenges. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be in the next year, but what I do know is that I am fully motivated to continue growing within Schneider Electric.
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About the Author
Horacio is 26 years old. He is currently a Plant Master Data Analyst, ensuring the data quality and identification of opportunities to improve system architecture at the Global Supply Chain at a plant level. He is originally from Sinaloa, México and started his career as an intern before joining as a full-time employee. He joined the Schneider Development Program and since then, he has held different roles in the Global Supply Chain of increasing responsibility. Warehouse Management, Manufacturing, Upstream Flow, and Data Quality are some of the areas he has worked in. He is currently located in Reynosa, Mexico, and enjoys traveling and discovering new cultures whenever possible.