In this series, we take a look at some of the bright and knowledgeable people behind our success here at AdEdge Water Technologies and see how they tackle their day-to-day challenges. Today we are here with Paula Araya, a sales engineer for Latin America.
I really like to see the things done. When you develop a proposal, it’s only numbers. When you sell the product and you can see that project that you worked on, it’s finally done and it’s a physical thing.
How did you get into your particular field?
I’m from Chile, and my title is biochemical engineer. It’s a chemical engineer with a focus on bioprocess. My first internship was in the mining industry, and my second internship was in water treatment. After I graduated I have always worked in the water industry in wastewater and also drinking water. I met AdEdge while I was working in Chile because we were the counterpart of their project. We were partners. I ran a pilot of AdEdge and someone from AdEdge traveled to Chile and taught me how to use the pilot. I was taking samples, so I learned about arsenic. That’s what we deal with all the time.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really like to see the things done. When you develop a proposal, it’s only numbers. When you sell the product and you can see that project that you worked on, it’s finally done and it’s a physical thing. So you see the whole process. When you do research it can take so much longer. It can take years to see some result. Here that is shorter. And seeing that it’s clean water – you’re providing clean water to the people so you see a purpose in that.
What are some challenges or obstacles you face?
One challenge at the beginning was learning a lot of the technical stuff, but also in English. It was different to learn all the different parts of a system and at the beginning I had to translate them. Even in Spanish there were some things that were harder for me to understand – the little parts of a system like the gauges, the transmitter and all that. And then relearn that in a different language.
What’s something you always do before you leave for the day?
Not always, but I try to write a To Do of what I should do the next day, my plan for tomorrow. Sometimes it’s more than what I would do in a day, but it’s my priorities of what I would have to accomplish the day after. I try to plan. I’m not so organized as I sound but I try.
Do you keep any unique possessions at your desk?
I have a friend in Chile whose brand includes stuff with empowering phrases. So I have a little mug in Chilean – it says "You Go Girl," but it’s in Spanish. I have my pencils and my pens in there. I also used to go to a lot of concerts and festivals, and I still have the wristbands. We have Lollapalooza in Chile too so I have them pinned there as a decoration as a part of my country and what I’ve done in the last few years.