I joined the company in April 2002 – though I actually began my career as a business travel agent dealing with bookings from companies in the local area for meetings, flights, hotels, car hire etc. At the time, I really enjoyed it.
After having my daughter in 2001, I decided to change my career direction completely and began working the twilight shift (5-10pm) as an assembly operator at TDK-Lambda. I thought I would stay there for a couple of years until my daughter started school, however, I enjoyed it so much, I am still working at TDK today, albeit in a substantially different role.
After just one year as an assembly operator, I took the opportunity to transfer into the new design, verification and test department (DVT). This is where I tested prototype products designed by our excellent team of engineers. This was a very rewarding role as I took newly designed power supplies and tested them thoroughly and rigorously before they were approved and shipped to our customers.
During my time in the DVT department, I attended college and gained an ONC in Electronics with a double distinction grade. On both years of my college course, I was awarded student of the year!
A couple of years later, I decided to apply for a job in the component engineering department. This was a varied role – I worked my way up from a technician to a component approval engineer. My main role was to source alternative components for engineers and test them to ensure that they would fit into the power supplies. During this time, I also worked closely with the quality and production teams to ensure that replacement components were quality checked and fitted onto the PCB properly. I then moved to the safety department, where I have been working ever since.
Again, I began as a trainee and worked my way up to Safety Team Leader – all in a relatively short period of time. This is not health and safety, you’d be pleased to know! It is a small team responsible for testing all new power supplies in development to UL standards, which are internationally recognised standards for safety.
This is an interesting and very responsible role. Power supplies have to endure many different tests, they need to ‘fail safe’. As the term suggests, if it should fail, there are no resulting fires or hazards. Once the power supply passes all of the in-depth testing, the safety team drafts a formal report and sends it to the Underwriters Laboratories to get the UL mark – an essential requirement.
The work is varied, interesting and challenging. In the past you may have thought engineering was just for men but you couldn’t be more wrong – more and more women are seeing the fantastic and varied opportunities engineering provide. I am living proof that at TDK a career in engineering is possible for everyone.
Tracy is currently completing an HNC in Electronics through a distance learning course and is looking forward to further developing her career in the research and development (R&D) department