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My Journey to Become an Expert in PCB Assembly Materials

Welcome! I am a chemical engineer experienced in an R&D setting and jumping into a new position in marketing here at Indium Corporation. Initially, in this blog, I will focus on my journey getting started, learning all the new facets of the business here, and transitioning from my former R&D mindset into something more outward facing and communications-based. I am relatively new to this world of social networking too, so I’m sure there will be plenty of growth in that direction as well. Hopefully, you will enjoy taking this journey with me, learning vicariously. I would certainly appreciate any pointers from you. 

Officially my job title is “Product Support Specialist”.  I’m learning that it means a lot of things, for example, being an expert in PCB assembly, the different products that are used for PCB assembly, and being able to convey that useful information to everyone that is interested. “Everyone” really could be anyone in this case: existing customers, potential customers, customers that haven’t even thought about how solder paste or another product might make their process easier, people who just have an interest in electronic materials… and people here at Indium, R&D, production, our sales team, and the list goes on. In time this blog (with any luck) will be a good resource for a lot of helpful information to all of these people.

As I am completing my first week here at Indium, I am feeling very optimistic about my new position and my capacity to contribute. Overall, this week has been like riding a wave of information, and just trying to scoop up as much as I can. I have been surprised by how much my previous experience in electronics materials is helping me. Even though the materials here are significantly different, I have been exposed to a lot of the same processes before (screen printing, mixing, metal powders, etc.), so I just have to make the mental links and note the differences. For instance, I was fascinated, while touring one of our manufacturing facilities yesterday, that we are using the same mixer I used in my former company’s pilot lab, just about 20 times larger. Also, we are packaging some of the material in the same cartridges and syringes I had previously filled by hand on so many occasions.


On a more personal note: Before starting Monday, I had mostly been filled with a sense of gratitude for having found a job that I really love, and a little bit with some apprehension about fitting into a new role, living up to all of the expectations (from myself, my co-workers, my new boss…). I suppose a long period of searching for employment, with all of the probing and feelings of rejection and such, really does change one’s perspective of their competencies. It has been difficult in the past months listening to the news and hearing reports of unemployment numbers staying the same or getting worse, and in addition having benefits for unemployment on shaky ground. In some ways it felt like people who were still employed might not understand how difficult it can be to find a job, even a job that doesn’t live up to the expectations one might have had 5 years ago. I just thought that I should note that there is still very much reason to hold on to hope: it is possible to find a wonderful job that fits your qualifications, and continue on after all of this economic turmoil. What was most important during my time searching was to keep searching for that job that would further my career the way I wanted it to, to keep applying to positions that might seem out of reach at the time, and to not get discouraged, because despite all of the unanswered emails and resumes, only ONE needs to come through… and that one could be awesome. Since Monday, of course, my doubts have been fading quickly, and I am still filled with that sense of gratitude, which I don’t think I would have appreciated without having gone through these tumultuous times.