Meghan DeChello received a bachelor's degree in chemical and molecular engineering, applied mathematics and statistics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She said she has always had an interest in medical product development and "was very excited at the opportunity to be involved in the process from turning an idea into reality via injection molding." Working at Natech Plastics Inc. is her first plastics industry role.
As lead applications engineer for the Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based custom injection molder, DeChello is involved in quotations, from gathering client requirements to negotiating orders; new product development, including analyzing parts for manufacturability and recommend changes; and strategy, including working with the marketing and project engineering teams to increase sales and participate in marketing plans.
DeChello's greatest achievement was signing on her first client a few months after starting full time, she said.
"Before this, most of my time had been as an intern supporting the other engineers," DeChello said. "This was the first moment I felt like I [was] really contributing to the team and growth of the business."
She graduated college during the pandemic and transitioned from intern to full-time employee while working from home. "It was difficult not being able to walk over to my colleagues with questions or if I needed help with something," she said.
DeChello said she has been surprised how expansive the industry is. Coming from a chemistry background, she was only aware of companies that "produce plastic resin, like Evonik and Amco."
"I'm breaking my own mold by ... increasing my professional confidence," she said. "Recently I've pushed myself to get more involved in the business and strategy side of the company and I absolutely love it."
DeChello was nominated by Ashley Turrell, director of marketing and strategy for Natech.
Q: What's an accomplishment of yours that most people don't know about, either for work or in your personal life?
DeChello: I am an amateur Latin and ballroom dancer, currently taking a break because of COVID. During my last competition, my dance partner and I won first place after months of practice and dedication. Being able to have my family and team there for that moment was such an amazing memory.
Q: What job do you really want to have in the future?
DeChello: I really want to be a manufacturing consultant in the future and gain knowledge on more manufacturing methods. I want to help people turn their ideas into reality, particularly in the medical space.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
DeChello: That everything's going to be OK and that you're allowed to clap for yourself sometimes.