Wed, 04 August, 2021
When Chalita Poechert graduated in physics, everyone around her expected her to pursue a career in academia as a teacher or a researcher. However, Chalita had other plans and was enthusiastic to challenge herself by exploring the world of engineering as she believed it was going to be more interesting and fun.
In the first job she landed, Chalita was tasked to do radiographic imaging using X-ray and inspect the images based on the standard codes. However, since she didn’t have experience in doing this, she asked her manager to allow her to join the team on site. Right from the beginning, this was the first hurdle for her to overcome as she faced the disagreement of her seniors. Being the only female engineer joining her male peers on a site that was being worked during the nighttime, it wasn’t easy for her to get her boss’ approval. However, by perseverance, eventually she managed to convince her manager and get his permission to join the operational team. Two years later, she is now working as the project leader, responsible for the entire process of radiographic testing works, from assigning tasks and monitoring the work to coordination between customer and the team, and controlling and approving the reports.
Chalita says it has been quite a challenging journey to become a team leader, “Being a young and less experienced member of the team, I had to work really hard to interact with my colleagues and learn the job and solve problems. As a leader, you should be reliable and trustworthy with your work. If you have weaknesses, by hard work and consultation of you expert colleagues you can develop your skills and gain the strengths that are crucial for being a successful leader.”
Chalita expressed how it comes as a surprise to many of her clients when she introduces herself as the inspector in charge of the projects and the mixed reaction of doubt and pride she receives for being the sole female inspector in her company.
As she is gaining more experience and progressing through her career, Chalita realised that, to meet the requirements of new projects and the demand of the clients, she needs to gain new skillsets and qualifications. She needs to gain confidence in herself to deal with the queries of the clients with reliance on her excellent knowledge and her ability to accurately address the client’s needs. Therefore, to further improve her abilities as an inspector, she joined the Welding Inspector course at TWI Thailand.
She explains that the welding inspector course has helped her a lot by supplementing her knowledge of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) and it has given her the comprehension to analyse and solve the root cause of problems.
She adds that there is a demand for more qualified inspectors who can comply to international standards in the Thai industry and, as a business, her company is concentrating on developing a qualified team who are able to meet various customers’ needs. Chalita is grateful to TWI Thailand for providing her with the opportunity to get world-class knowledge and international recognition for her skills, with the aid of the great lecturers and the support of the operational staff.
Every job comes with its unique set of challenges and this is on the individuals to decide whether they want to put the effort into improving themselves and overcome the obstacles on the path to success.