As a student, I never thought I would end up working in the semiconductor industry. I didn't know much about it and majored in organic chemical technology, which is more suitable for chemicals and pharmaceuticals. I later worked as a chemical engineer, where I came to be more familiar with plating and depositing metals. I ended up graduating with an M.S. in chemical engineering in Romania and continued my education in the United States, where I earned a second M.S. in management of technology.
The semiconductor industry is very dynamic and while it provides you with challenges, it also offers opportunities because there are so many technologies you can work on and create that can improve and change the products that we use every day -- things like phones, computers, cameras, to list a few. My work helps to make them smaller and faster, and increases their functionality. I'm proud to be part of an industry that has such a big impact on our daily lives.
I'm responsible for strategic and technical marketing for one of the product groups in Applied Materials' semiconductor business segment, and Applied is a leader in the industry so I get to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry and support the major chip manufacturers of the world on leading-edge technologies. The technology I'm supporting today -- stacking chips to make phones and other consumer-end products even smaller and faster -- is the hottest and most advanced technology in the industry.
Looking back, I was quite shy when I first started out and had to present in front of people and talk about my work, even though I loved what I did very much. Now I am constantly invited to speak at conferences and participate in panel discussions to talk about technology development and trends as well as challenges in our industry. I've given more than 50 presentations at various conferences and actually enjoy creating and delivering the presentations which are often in front of hundreds of people.
I consider myself lucky to have a job that I love so much. Ultimately, if you have the passion and the drive and are willing to work hard, you will find what you like and you will succeed. Be passionate about everything you do and never give up and who knows how far you can go.