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Maripaz Sánchez, a process engineer at Aludium Alicante, tells us about her professional experience on the 26 Employment Day of the Higher Polytechnic School of Elche

    30 March 2023. Here at Aludium we enjoy taking part in educational encounters to publicise our activity, exchange experiences and show those with talent from university in our communities the professional opportunities offered by the industrial sector, in general, and the aluminium sector, in particular. Maripaz Sánchez, a process engineer at Aludium Alicante, who graduated from the Higher Polytechnic School of Elche of Alicante’s Miguel Hernández University, and began working as a company intern before finishing her Mechanical Engineering degree, was invited on 16 March to the 26th Employment Day, organised by the Higher Polytechnic School and the Occupational Observatory, at which she shared with the students and other guests her work experience in Aludium. After that, in a brief interview following the meeting, the engineer disclosed the reasons why she decided to study engineering and her work experience at Aludium.

    • Why did you decide to study engineering? What motivated you?

    Honestly, when I made the decision to study Mechanical Engineering I was not clear about my future or what I wanted to dedicate myself to. In Secondary education I was not bad at those subjects of the technological branch, and I was interested in them, but I was also interested in other subjects related to letters and sciences.

    The reason leading me to choose to do the technical baccalaureate was that I felt that I was not closing any doors, that I still had the possibility later on to access any degree. Finally, after finishing high school, I chose to start studying Mechanical Engineering. During the previous courses I had seen that the subjects related to engineering were the ones that cost me the least to review when I had exams, that is, where I saw that I had a greater predisposition to do things. And, for this reason, I thought that choosing industrial engineering would offer me a wide range of professional possibilities.

    • How would you describe your professional career at Aludium since you started with an internship before finishing your degree thanks to the agreement with the Miguel Hernandez University?

    I started as an intern in the logistics department, in the planning and programming department, and I consider that beginning to be fundamental for my further development. It allowed me to have a global vision of the workshop processes and the flow of metal, something that helped me a lot when I started my career in the production department as a process engineer. I consider that my career, although still short, has been good. I have had the opportunity to be in different positions from which I have learned many things and from which I have been able to contribute my grain of sand.

    • In line with the previous question, has your work at Aludium met your expectations as a student?

    When I was a student I wasn’t sure what kind of job I was going to like, since I hadn’t had any work experience in anything related to process engineering. Aludium gave me the opportunity to make a start and to go, little by little, improving as a professional. This also allows you to progress in your professional career. Aludium is very dynamic and has allowed me to grow professionally.

    • What is your everyday work in Aludium like? What challenges do you face?

    My everyday work in Aludium is very dynamic, no day is the same. The challenges are constant, as are the changes, so I think a good definition of my job would be adapt to changes and always try to extract improvements from those changes. My main goal is to optimise the process of the L95 processing line, which is an edge cutting, tension flattening and chemical degreasing line. Therefore, it is necessary to work at the same time and in tune with many people, both in my department and others. Consequently, teamwork and people management are essential. Communication with operators is vital since they are the ones who can help me the most to successfully carry out my work.

    • As a graduate of the Higher Polytechnic School of Elche, what advice would you give to students who have attended the conference in terms of doing internships in companies before finishing their studies?

    I recommend it 100%. It is an opportunity to strike out on your professional path and start putting into practice everything learned during the years of study. Furthermore, it allows you to obtain the work experience that many companies demand as a requirement and which you wouldn’t have if you had just finished your degree and not done some type of internship.

    • Would you recommend internships in industrial companies?

    If you have the opportunity, yes, definitely. I believe that industrial companies allow an engineer to develop in many professional facets. In addition, I believe that professional growth in industrial companies is greater than in other types of companies.

    • What was it like to share your personal and professional experience in your university with other students?

    I think it has been a very interesting experience since the students have been able to see in us, first hand, their possible immediate future. A few years ago I was that student who was uncertain about her future, and I have seen myself reflected in their faces. By sharing my experience I tried to convey the peace of mind and illusion they need to have at this time. It pleases me that the university followed my career path and saw me as a good example to share my experience.