Danna Paniagua-Perez – 2022 Steel Intern Scholar
During summer 2022, Ternium Mexico granted me the opportunity of my dreams and I got the opportunity to work for one of the leading steel manufacturers, under guidance of coating senior director, Robert E. Freites. I got to develop multiple simultaneous projects in different fronts of the company, such as galvanization, painting, security and project management, giving me a full experience of the industrial world.
I started my internship with two main projects, these being: defect characterization of galvanized steel throughout a smart defectology software. I studied and learned the process of galvanization until I was able to track back to origin and amend problems which were causing defects detected by the software. My second project was to find and fix hidden factories in painting process, through layered process audits (LPA) and visual factory, which I was able to extend to galvanization and security. During my internship, I was also given the opportunity develop side projects, participate in meetings and contribute in every way I could. Although I’m still trying to fully understand the world of coating, I’ve been captivated by its beauty, the complex science behind the processes and the infinite applications to its products.
I went into the internship with the one goal of starting a professional career in the steel industry, however, it exceeded my expectations. I got to put in practice and materialize all technical knowledge I learned in school, in order to solve industrial problems, but also the importance of soft skills, ability to think outside the box and pursue continuous improvement.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity of being part of Ternium family. I’d like to give a special thanks to my colleagues who provided a safe environment and full support of my training where they shared their knowledge and experiences, which ultimately guided me though the internship. I learned and lived the true value of teamwork, networking and leadership. As an engineer, we are trained to see cold numbers and statistics. Nevertheless, we tend to forget that real value of any company is its people who are aligned to the same values and vision.
Now, I look into the future with a different set of eyes, more convinced than ever that steel industry is the perfect fit for me.