When Janel Rosine started at Minneapolis-based Diversified Plastics Inc., she thought she would only be at the company for a year or two. More than 13 years later, she's still at the custom injection molder, holding the role of custom service supervisor.
"My first position was as an estimator. When the customer service position became available, I thought my skills would better fit that position," Rosine said in her Women Breaking the Mold survey. "This has evolved into a sales position for select customers. And I will be moving into the customer service supervisor role shortly while continuing the sales role as well. My time at DPI has been challenging and exciting."
Rosine's background was in graphic design, so she did not know anything about plastics or manufacturing when she started at DPI, she said.
"However, I wanted to give it a try and learn more about plastics manufacturing. It has been a fun and meaningful adventure," she said. "I'm always learning something new."
Rosine is challenging herself to "move up the ladder" in a male-dominated field.
"DPI has always welcomed women for any position, but I've seen other companies where that is not true," she said. "Most of the engineers that I work with are men. I've had to learn about injection molding and show my expertise, more than my male counterparts, to earn their respect."
She is involved in MN Women Leading Manufacturing and Gears and Gadgets to promote manufacturing opportunities. DPI regularly invites high school students to tour the facilities and Rosine speaks to the students about opportunities in the plastics industry during the tours.
Annette Lund, vice president of DPI, nominated Rosine for Women Breaking the Mold.
Q: What is your current challenge at work?
Rosine: Growth and the communication between current and new employees. There are many employees that have been here for 10 years or more and have so much knowledge to pass along to new employees. My goal is to work with the older employees to tap their knowledge while encouraging the enthusiasm and fresh ideas of the new or younger employees.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Rosine: Additive manufacturing (AM) interests me. The technology is rapidly evolving, and I want to learn as much as I can. We are finding ways to take multiple parts and combine them into one with AM, saving our customers' time and money. This technology is constantly evolving. I want to learn as much as I can about AM so that I can offer our customers my knowledge of the field and present the newest innovations.
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Rosine: How it continually changes but the basic principles remain the same. Injection molding machines basically look the same as when I started, but there are many new features that enhance the quality of the parts. It's exciting for me to learn more about how the industry is evolving and how this will translate into better quality parts for our customers.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Rosine: Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, it usually is, so proceed with caution.
Q: What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the plastics industry?
Rosine: My advice would be to understand that there is a vast knowledge base that continues to change, grow and reinvent itself. You can and will always be learning new things. Embrace the change.