It’s not a secret that continuous learning can help you get your desired job. Of course, it’s not that easy, and the problem is that sometimes you don’t even know what you want. Still, the interest in something will probably help you end up in the right place.
That’s the story of Akvilė Jankauskaitė and how she became a Quality Engineer at HELLA Lithuania. Led by curiosity and eagerness to learn, she got the opportunity to switch her primary job, and that’s how she ended up in her current position. If you’re interested in more details of her career journey, Akvilė told us everything about it in this interview.
First of all, can you tell us more about yourself? What did you study, and is it somehow related to your current job?
Currently, I’m working in HELLA Lithuania as a Quality Engineer. So far, it has been around 2,5 years in HELLA and almost two years in my current position. I graduated from the Kaunas University of Technology in Production Management. Having this in mind, my current career path isn’t far away from my field of study as it’s very much related to the process of production of goods and ensuring their quality.
In short, in this role, a person looks after the continuous improvement of processes in the company.
How did you end up in your current position?
It was quite an unexpected path. Initially, I got the job at HELLA as an OPEI technician or, to be more precise, Operational Excellence and Industrial engineering technician. In short, in this role, a person looks after the continuous improvement of processes in the company. However, starting from scratch in the production company, and trying to see opportunities to improve, proved inefficient without having a clear understanding of production processes. This is the reason why, when I received a chance to transfer to a Quality Engineer position, I didn’t blink and took the challenge.
Can you tell us more about your job? What are your daily tasks and challenges?
I’m responsible for our product quality, meeting all internal, legal and customer requirements. It’s quite a dynamic job. My daily tasks are constantly interchanging, but I usually focus on reviewing series production results, and I’m also responsible for solving all ongoing issues related to quality. My daily tasks include:
- Performing regular checks;
- Participating in various audits;
- Communicating with customers;
- Working with the industrialization of soon-to-be-produced products.
It took me a while to understand that asking questions is common here and completely normal.
What were the main challenges while reaching your career goals?
I guess there were few. The first one, and yet I believe the easiest, was to absorb a vast amount of new information and be able to use it. The second was to stop doubting myself. At first, due to the lack of experience and knowledge, I felt uncertain about my actions or decisions. I was mainly afraid of asking and openly showing everyone I didn’t know anything. It took me a while to understand that asking questions is common here and completely normal. It made the learning process much easier, and I became more confident in my role.
What kind of skills (hard and soft) are needed for your position?
I believe that flexibility, quick thinking, ability to think out of the box and look for any possible ways to achieve the goal or perform the task are essential skills in this role. And it’s also important to always prioritize quality and think ahead on how this could and should be achieved.
What do you like most about your job?
How dynamic it is. As mentioned, the day may never go as planned; there may always be different small and big challenges popping up. But you can imagine what a huge satisfaction it is when you solve these challenges in a sophisticated, efficient manner.
There’s no better way to figure out yourself than “taking a bite” of anything you’re interested in.
What is your advice to others trying to figure out their career paths?
It takes a lot of courage to try, but I believe it’s the only way to figure out your career path. I think that theory won’t give you valuable experience; you have to try new things yourself in practice. There’s no better way to figure out yourself than “taking a bite” of anything you’re interested in.