MATTHEW PETERMAN, 22
TE Connectivity Ltd.
Title: Manufacturing development engineer — operations rotation engineer, plastics
Location: Winston Salem, N.C.
Birthplace: Phoenixville, Pa.
Social media: Instagram, Snapchat
Education: Bachelor's degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology, cum laude, Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Career highlights: Joining TE Connectivity in June; attending Antec 2012, 2014 and 2015; attending NPE 2012 and 2015.
Associations: Society of Plastics Engineers, Piedmont Coastal Section; SPE Next Generation Advisory Board; Eagle Scout.
Q: Tell us about your family
Peterman: My father works in the electrical utility Industry and my mother holds her insurance license. My younger brother will be attending college to study electronics and computer engineering — robotics and automation. I like to credit my hands-on abilities and knowledge outside of plastics to my father. Together we have done many projects where I have gained a great understanding of mechanical and electrical systems. I like to cook and bake with my mother; it is a way in which I have always connected with her.
Q: What was your first plastics job and why were you interested in the industry?
Peterman: Working in Rodon Group's injection molding plant for a summer. That job set me up with the foundation I used through college and into my career. I became interested in plastics in a high school engineering materials course.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
Peterman: Being accepted into TE Connectivity's rotational program, which focuses on accelerating participants' development in order to build functional and leadership skills. I also feel my involvement in SPE is a great achievement. I was accepted to work with the SPE staff at the 2015 Antec.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Peterman: Absorbing as much knowledge as I can from everyone surrounding me. The rotation program exposes me to many different aspects of the company. My greatest challenge will be getting the most out of every one of my rotations.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Peterman: I am surprised every day by the unique and abundant opportunities. The plastics industry covers such a broad spectrum of manufacturing and industries, from automotive to medical to marine and defense.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Peterman: Don't take any day for granted. I was told to put everything I have into my life and career, and from that I would be rewarded with my further desires.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Peterman: Look around and grasp fully how much of your everyday life is affected by plastics. If you can understand that plastics has driven the advancement of our society since its initial introduction, then you will understand how amazing it can be to be part of the industry. The only limit in the plastics industry is how far you want to go and how much you want to put into it.
Q: If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
Peterman: My first action would be to take a step back and review my company. Is is greatly important to remain grounded to your situation. It is easy to become distracted by the job title. I would be sure to consider my roots and try to instill that in my company every day.
Q: Who is your mentor, or someone you look up to?
Peterman: There are two people I look up to in the plastics industry: the person who gave me my first tour of the Penn College plastics labs and sold me on the plastics industry, Taylor Kijak; and Clarke Broome, the person who introduced me to TE Connectivity.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Peterman: I enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking and riding my mountain bike. I enjoy four-wheeling and riding snowmobiles. My favorite summer activity is boating with my closest friends.