The first time Erica was introduced to engineering was during her classes at elementary school. “I went to an amusement park, and instead of rides like roller coasters, my attention was drawn to job simulation games, ranging from actress, firefighter, pilot, and even engineer. As I grew older, I realised that I like math, science, and finance related subjects. That led me to enter science major in high school, and finally my decision to study Industrial and Business Engineering at the university.”
Erica highly enjoyed her time at university, and appreciated the diversity of the subjects that were being taught, covering a broad scope, from management, operational research, to technical drawing, and machine elements. “At the end of the day, there are actually quite a lot of job opportunities for industrial engineers, and the fields of focus are very diverse”, she says.
Internship at BMW
During her internship at BMW, Erica was the only female in the whole operation department. At BMW, she worked on developing the assembly line, by implementing the motion study and eliminating waste movement. “I admit that there was pressure on being the only woman engineer in the building. However, thanks to the supportive environment and the trust my supervisor put in me, I kept on growing and completed projects.”
Sofis is Erica’s first employer, after she graduated. As a Production Engineer, she’s happy to be able to directly apply a lot of things that she learned during her studies. “Doing inspections with customers and third party inspectors, troubleshooting problems, and improving processes are some of the daily activities that I do in Sofis”, Erica explains. “At Sofis, every new day offers opportunity to take on new challenges.” Erica adds that she highly appreciates her colleagues at Sofis. “They are truly a bunch of nice people, and we’re highly supportive towards each other!”
Bridge between office and factory
In her role as a Production Engineer, Erica feels that she positions herself as a ‘bridge between the office and the factory’. Scheduling, planning, and managing activities associated with project orders is one of her main responsibilities, where all is geared to ensure that projects are delivered on time. “At the moment, I’m compiling a custom-made workshop book for orders from our customers, and helping out my colleagues from the workshop whenever they encounter challenges. I also work on process improvement projects, and we are currently transitioning to work even closer to our workshop”, she explains. “As an engineer, it feels good and rewarding once we can tackle a problem and come up with a proper solution, so the problem will not re-occur. Troubleshooting problems and improving the way we work are actually the two most exciting things in my work!”
Encouraging women to become engineers
On International Women’s Day, the day that this interview is being published, Erica would like to take the opportunity to encourage women to also pick up on engineering as a career opportunity. Erica: “Being an engineer is fun and exciting. Every day comes with new challenges, offering so many ways to get better, and grow as a professional.”
Erica has a Bachelor of Science in Business Engineering from Saxion University of Applied Sciences and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Telkom University, where she was given the honourable title as cum laude. When not at work, Erica enjoys traditional Indonesian dancing, which includes dances from Bali, Sumatra, and Borneo. She recently also picked up again on playing badminton.