Betsy Swovick '10
Major: Biomedical engineering
Company: Johnson & Johnson
Title: Senior Business Improvement Specialist
Field of Work: HealthcareNon-Medical
What do you do?
I lead continuous improvement projects and execute Lean/Six Sigma strategies at an over-the-counter pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. My projects at the site typically support production by increasing efficiency. As needed, I provide additional data analysis to support plant objectives.
How did you become interested in your field?
In my previous job at Bausch & Lomb, I went through the certification programs for a Green and Black Belt in Lean/Six Sigma, and through these programs I became increasingly interested in manufacturing. In addition, I became very interested in utilizing my Lean/Six Sigma tools full time and finding a role that allowed me to do so.
What skills are vital for success in your field?
Being able to communicate effectively is essential. I need to be able to have a conversation with operators and then translate that into a presentation with upper management. Going along with being a good communicator, having an understanding of other's perspectives is necessary. The technical and problem solving are needed as well. However, as my first boss put it, you wouldn't even be interviewing for the job if you didn't already have those things. The soft skills, like communication, are what set you apart from the pack.
What experiences, internships, study, or previous jobs helped you get to your current position?
All of the experiences while I was at Bausch & Lomb helped me get to where I am today. Looking back on my three years with that company, I had a ton of opportunities that I took full advantage of very early on in my career. Without those, I would not have gotten to where I am currently at.
What advice do you have for current students interested in your field?
Take on challenging problems, not just the "hard to solve" ones, but the ones that also incorporate tough team dynamics. Have a good mentor throughout the process and learn through it! You will grow so much by taking on things you didn't know you could, and as long as you have the right support system, you should not worry about what will happen if you fail.