Evelyn Ferrer: Career Driven

Evelyn Ferrer, Director of Lean Six Sigma, outlines her career path below and the hard work she did to get to her current position. Although it wasn’t an easy path, Ferrer is the employee she is today because of this journey. She’s a great example of a strong and successful Jabil Joule, and we thank her for sharing her story.

My Beginning

Very early in life I learned that working ethically and personal drive were crucial to be successful; not necessarily rich, but definitely successful.

One day I saw my grandfather swinging my three-month-old son in a hammock and with an intense concentration saying to him to “do everything with excellence, be passionate, pay what you owe, work hard, love hard, be happy from within and be a man of strong values.” While I watched him I could only imagine him telling me the same thing 18 years before.

My grandfather’s advice could not have come at a better time. I was forced to drop out of school after getting pregnant out of wedlock as my parents didn’t support me anymore. As soon as I could after I had my baby I was determined to find a job, go back to school and finish my degree. My first job in manufacturing was as Secretary to the Manufacturing Manager at Motorola. I worked hard and was promoted almost every year, tripling my starting salary in five short years. I worked as an Industrial Engineer Technician, Line Supervisor and Assistant Manufacturing Manager, all while raising my son and going to engineering school at night.

Stones in My Path

When my son turned five, I received my BS degree in Industrial Engineering. After getting married and now having two wonderful children, Motorola closed its doors in Puerto Rico. My husband and I decided to move to Florida. Finding a job, even with a degree and over seven years of manufacturing experience, turned out to be difficult. Eventually I found a job at a shrimp packing company. Two weeks into the job, I found out I was pregnant.

Having to walk into the smell of cooking shrimp at six in the morning made my morning sickness even more difficult. Management began to accuse me of lying about being pregnant during the interview process and to make matters worse, the company health insurance said they would not cover my pregnancy because it was a “pre-existing condition.” Two weeks after I returned from giving birth, I was let go.

The next step on my career path was a job as a Process Engineer on the second shift for a food distribution company. The company was fantastic to work for and although I was making 40% of my salary at Motorola, I was making it work for my family. The 3-hour daily commute was difficult and straining on my relationships with my family.

The next step in my career was a real turning point. I was hired by a great boss who coached me in Lean Manufacturing Principles. Although my supervisor was incredibly supportive, the nature of the job was trying and because I lived so close to the company, every free moment I had was spent in the office. The company was manufacturing car airbags and at a time where people were dying in accidents due to the lack of these devices. I worked long hours because of the safety liability manufacturing these devices brought. The stress of not only the safety of the consumer, but the employees that were working to manufacture the devices led me to have a strong sense of responsibility. The responsibility kept me up at night and put lots of stress with my family because at that time, my life revolved around work.

My Jabil Journey

My husband called a mutual friend that we used to work with and begged our friend to move my resume within the company. I was called to interview with a company named Jabil, of which I had no idea what they did. The recommended position was a Senior Industrial Engineering. I accepted the role and thrived. I was a great Industrial Engineer and loved the art of not only designing how to manufacture something but also the human factor of those involved and make the process come to fruition. I quickly gained new positions at Jabil.  Since I joined 15 years ago I have worked as an Industrial Engineering Manager, Operations Manager, Regional Operations Development Manager, Regional Lean Manager, and am now a Director of Lean Six Sigma.

My path with Jabil hasn’t always been an easy one but I believe that when my time to shine comes, I shine. When I encounter a roadblock or a person who tries to limit my job possibilities, I’ve developed three choices to deal with the negativity:

  1. Go around them: Look for other opportunities that sets me apart from them and ensure our paths don’t cross.

  2. Go below them: Even if it means taking a demotion to move past the roadblock, do it.

  3. Be patient and have the roadblock moved by someone else: After 15 years at Jabil I have come to learn that negative qualities won’t last. When someone negative comes along I just focus on my best performance and wait until the roadblock is no more.

Summary

I have reached the high point in my career as I am in a Director role at Jabil. I have worked hard and passionately all of my life, and nothing was given to me for free. I have made choices that others would call sacrifices and through it all I have an almost 30-year marriage and children and grandchildren to fill my life with happiness. Someone once told me, “career, love and motherhood: pick two, nobody succeeds at all three.” I disagree and would not have been happy or complete without all three.

We want to hear from you:
How has your career path mirrored or been different from Evelyn’s?

One Response to Evelyn Ferrer: Career Driven

  1. Nancy Ng says:

    Fully agree with item 3.

    Be patient and have the roadblock moved by someone else, negative qualities won’t last. When someone negative comes along just focus on out best performance and wait until the roadblock is no more.

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