HERStory | Katie Andersen
Meet Katie – Quality Engineering Specialist, ATS Automation
Having spent seven years working in manufacturing, Katie characterizes it as fast paced, interesting, unique, challenging, and filled with opportunities. At ATS Automation, where she currently holds the position of Quality Engineering Specialist, Katie collaborates with various groups within the manufacturing team. Her key responsibilities revolve around customer feedback, managing non-conforming material, and working with suppliers to resolve issues and strengthen working relationships.
What led me to the manufacturing sector:
I was introduced to manufacturing during a co-op work term at Mohawk College. I worked at a food manufacturing business for three semesters in a row. I was actually doing a biotech diploma, and if it wasn’t for co-op, manufacturing wouldn’t have been on my radar at all.
What continues to attract me to a career in manufacturing:
That’s an easy answer – seeing how the products that we manufacture make a difference in people’s lives.
Connecting with other women in industry:
ATS has a Professional Women’s Network, which is a group that aims to better support women in STEM. I’ve had the chance to connect with women from diverse roles and departments across the organization, expanding my exposure beyond what I would have encountered otherwise.
They’ve been able to give me some good feedback and information about how to approach certain situations from both a technical and a personal perspective. It’s been so nice to have a group where you see yourself represented.
A piece of advice I would give to the next generation of talent:
When I was very little and first learning how to use computers, one of my family friends simply said, just try it and see what happens.
I think this is great advice that applies not only to learning a new skill but trying a new career as well. Sometimes you might have some hesitancy and preconceived notions about what you’re getting into. Just get out there and try it. You may learn something new, and you may learn that you like it.
Fun fact about myself:
I was in Girl Guides and welcomed the Princess of Denmark at the airport in Halifax during her visit to Canada.