"You shouldn't be afraid of failure"
About 7.7 billion people live in the world. About 3.82 billion of them are currently women. In the context of International Women's Day, we spoke to one in 3.8 billion: Maria Uribe. Born in Colombia, the 30-year-old now works as a supply chain engineer for the innovative MULTI. In the interview, she talks about pioneering spirit, intercultural collaboration and why failure is important.
Maria's work does not always go as she thinks it should. As a Supply Chain Engineer at MULTI, she develops new and innovative logistics and supply chain concepts. Not an easy task, because in the course of the development of the world's first ropeless elevator that moves vertically and horizontally, a completely new logistics concept is also being created. A task that above all requires creativity. "In my previous job, many processes and workflows were already predetermined. I did not have to be concerned about them. Working with MULTI gives me the chance to create new processes," says the 30-year-old. Besides developing new processes, this also includes close collaboration with potential suppliers. Naturally, not everything always runs smoothly. "When you create new processes, it's often a matter of trial and error. You have to be creative. It is unlikely to find the right solution right away. Nevertheless, it is important to learn and accept that too. Things are allowed to go wrong. During the concept phase of the MULTI, I was able to gather important learning from mistakes or things that did not worked as I had imagined. But I used those learnings and applied them in the next process, which then turned out great.”
Between businessman and engineer
During her time at university, Maria decided to study industrial engineering and management. Analyzing different objects from the bigger picture down to the smallest detail fascinated her early on. "As an industrial engineer, you know a little bit about every subject. During your studies, you get a very good overview and learn both the commercial and the engineering perspective. In the end, you are a bit like a translator or mediator between engineers and business people. I think it's great to speak these two languages”, concludes the engineer. Moreover, her understanding of both sides helps her in the development of logistics concepts, where she works closely with colleagues from other departments.
Diversity that moves you forward
As a supply chain engineer, you work with suppliers from all over the world. A task that Maria is also looking forward to in the future. "I already know from my previous job that by talking to potential suppliers, you go through a variety of cultures every day. You hear Italian jokes and are happy about the precise working methods of Japanese people. I've always appreciated the intercultural work and I'm looking forward to taking it up again," explains Maria. As long as Maria is not yet working globally with suppliers, she is happy to work with international colleagues in the MULTI team. As an international team, they work together on the innovative elevator. "For me it is great to be able to speak my mother tongue with some of my colleagues. But I also believe that diversity in the team can help to identify and overcome so-called blind spots".
Pioneering spirit is rewarded
Yet day-to-day work can also be stressful. In these situations, it is important to keep a clear head. The 30-year-old also had to make this experience. "In aerospace, a lot of tests are carried out before an engine is even installed. That naturally means a lot of coordination, last-minute changes and stress. However, after firefighting and trouble-shooting, when the assembly line is up and running again, you see your contribution to the product. That is incredibly motivating," sums the engineer up. The experience she has already gained can still be used now. After all, patience is also required in her work in the elevator industry, especially with a product that is still in development. "The special thing about working on the MULTI is that you have to approach the task with a certain pioneering spirit because there are a lot of uncertainties," says Maria Uribe. This is mainly because the MULTI is a unique product. "At first you may be a bit afraid of it, but I see it more as an opportunity. I can make many decisions that ultimately have a direct influence on the product. And then it is very cool to say that I was involved in the first sideways moving elevator."