Engineer of the week – Ann Croom By Jennifer Alanskas InSource Solutions Engineer of the week is dedicated to inspiring future engineers by increasing their understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. At InSource Solutions, our engineers are an essential part of our business, and we are proud to celebrate their many achievements and contributions. Our engineers help deliver vital work that makes life better for our customers and the many industries we are privileged to serve. We are excited for you to get to know our engineers as we highlight them each week. Ann Croom, CEO and Chairman of the Board is celebrating over 26 years in engineering. As we dive deep into how she became an engineer, we also celebrate her upcoming retirement. Learn more about Ann below and what inspired her to become an engineer. What inspired you to become an Engineer and/ or pursue a career in manufacturing? Like so many of us, many different influences would drive someone to choose their career. Growing up, my father was a natural at all things engineering; he could troubleshoot or repair just about anything. With his problem-solving mentality, it never occurred to me that most people hired a repair company instead of doing it ourselves. I found myself fascinated with math and science while in school, which inspired my decision to go to Georgia Tech to become a Chemical Engineer. What do you like about being an engineer in the manufacturing industry? What drew me to become an engineer in the manufacturing industry are the same reasons why I still enjoy it today. No two clients are alike, and manufacturers are remarkably creative problem solvers. Seeing how products are made is incredibly interesting, and there is always something new to learn in this industry. Whether you are solving a new problem, learning about a new product, or staying up to date with the ever-changing technology that goes into manufacturing, the results are tangible, often making lives better. It’s rewarding to see the outcome. What is that one thing that inspires you professionally every day? Just one? The InSource team inspires me to be a better leader, mentor, and teammate. Because of them, I’m driven to add value to our organization and that of our clients. My other inspirations are my family and friends who inspire me to make the most out of every moment. Life is too short to not give it your all every day. What is that one piece of advice you would give someone who is pursuing a career in manufacturing but is not sure about it? With any profession, not just manufacturing, I would give the same advice, “think about the type of work that you find most energizing”. Unfortunately, the “follow your passion” advice doesn’t apply to everyone. Sometimes passions evolve from finding a place that seems interesting and working hard to make a meaningful contribution. Before you know it, you’ll develop some expertise in your field, your co-workers will appreciate you, and assuming your business contributes to society, your passion for the work will grow. If you like a fast-paced environment where multi-tasking and collaboration are required, always looking for an easier way, and love to see how products are made, manufacturing will be a good fit for you. Being organized and getting satisfaction by seeing tangible results are also important to have when getting into this field. Navigating your career and finding your passion in the workforce can seem overwhelming, especially for those who are coming out of school or switching careers, it’s ok not to know, and is important to not overthink it. When I first got into the manufacturing and technology industry, I found a mentor who inspired me and allowed me to “jump in, look and listen”. Use that time to learn and continually work to improve. If you do, you’ll find a place in manufacturing and/or engineering where you will make your mark. Stay tuned as we introduce a new Engineer each week!