With more than 15 years of experience in the petrochemicals and plastics industry, Veronica Rangel-Penagos' professional life has always revolved around plastics.
Her first job in her home country of Venezuela was a process engineer in an ethylene/propylene cracker. Then she found a job as a production scheduler in Orlando, Fla., when she moved to the United States.
"I was interested in the process and started learning about injection molding, quality and processing while successfully managing the production scheduling and learning about customer service, logistics, procurement and warehousing," she said. "It was a great experience and I am so grateful for that."
Rangel-Penagos joined Amco Polymers as a product coordinator in 2021 and is now a product specialist.
"As product specialist, I serve as [the] primary point to the sales and customer service team, providing thorough information on price and availability, as well as allocating inventory to sales orders, assess each sales order and make a commitment to fulfill the order or reject the order based on the strategy of the product line."
A major accomplishment of hers has been learning English. When she moved from Venezuela five years ago, she had basic knowledge of the language but said she was afraid to speak.
"I was always asking my husband to order food for me. I realized that I needed to overcome that fear and started working hard to learn the language and to not be ashamed of my pronunciation. You have to see me [in] a meeting now; I am not afraid to speak in front of everyone," she said.
Rangel-Penagos is a member of the Association for Supply Chain Management, and she would eventually like to be a product manager, supply chain manager or operations manager.
"I am breaking the mold as a Hispanic woman in a multimillion-[dollar] industry. The limitations are set by yourself. Times are changing as is time for every person from any background to fulfill [their] dreams," she said.
Q: What has been the biggest impact or challenge on your career from the coronavirus pandemic?
Rangel-Penagos: The majority of my professional life was out in the floor/plant. Being remote was hard at the beginning. Now I am comfortable working remote or in person; I love the hybrid schedule.
Q: Most unexpected thing you learned from the pandemic?
Rangel-Penagos: That the rules are not written, that we as human beings and the companies can adapt and evolve.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Rangel-Penagos: Control what you can control. Do your best to fix problems or suggest improvements. Avoid letting a situation out of your control affect you emotionally, and don't hesitate to ask your work team for help if you need it.