Christine (Lee-Sang) Brockel
Spring Hill, Fla.
Class of 1993
I am passionate about production/manufacturing. This may sound as out of place as someone saying “I love widgets.”
I have been blessed to become a production supervisor at Accuform signs, in Brooksville, Fla. I have worked in various capacities, at three other production facilities: Dresser Industries, Kendall/Amalie, and Cutco Cutlery. When my husband and I moved to Florida, I didn’t figure I would re-enter that environment. Florida is not known for its manufacturing industry, especially not in rural areas, which is where I live.
When I started my job hunt I fell back on my business/finance experience. I applied to banks, school districts, builders, county operations. These led to interviews but no promising offers.
A while into my search I saw a Web posting for a position at Accuform Signs, as a “product specialist.” This person develops copy for industrial catalogs.
I applied and interviewed. The extensive interview allowed me to get a good sense of the operation of this company. Just being in that environment after so long was invigorating.
I called my mother after the interview and told her that I thought it had gone well and had convinced me of which direction I needed to follow on my quest.
She said, “Don’t limit your options,” but efforts to enter other fields were not going to allow me to follow the path I wanted to take. Did all those other interviewers see that? I thought I had interviewed well at those also.
The day after my interview I received a call back. I didn’t get the job, but I was offered another position, as an expeditor, a position that in the past had only been filled internally.
This was a compliment. They had faith, supported by my experience and enthusiasm, that I would be able to learn their systems, culture, etc., quickly. Seven months later I was offered my current position.
I believe that a successful economy needs a strong manufacturing base and I am doing my best to promote that.
Sure I have challenging days, where I am more social worker than leader, days where quotas are not met, days where what looked good on paper just won’t work in the real world and needs to be overhauled. But these experiences manage to serve as continuing education.
I am writing this to especially encourage alumni who may be:
- looking for employment. Keep trying, you will find where you belong.
- looking to change direction. Maybe you don’t need to change your employer, but develop new skills to assume a different position at your current employer; contact your HR director.
And to those who think “my passion is not the stuff of legend,” passion can be found on Main Street, in a science lab, on a mission trip to Brazil, in outer space, or simply on the production floor.