I’m not your traditional engineer – in fact, my career didn’t even start with an engineering degree. I was born a first-generation American in Nashville, Tennessee, but raised in Zimbabwe, where girls weren’t typically encouraged to pursue STEM, so I wasn’t exposed to the world of engineering at an early age. I also struggled in elementary, through my early years in high school with mathematics.
However, as a junior in high school, something just clicked. I became more proficient in math and enjoyed higher-level problem-solving and logical thinking to find answers. This led to my engineering internship with the Ford Academy of Manufacturing Science (FAMS) program, where I spent time working alongside industrial and manufacturing engineers. While FAMS sowed the seed of my engineering interest, it wasn’t until I started working in manufacturing that I knew engineering was more than a career – it was my passion.
It was during my time working on the shop floor that I realized just how much I enjoyed working with technicians and seeing the machinery and products we created. That’s why I joined Siemens Energy. In my initial role as a Project Manager, I was able to utilize my cross-functional background in cost management, industrial relations, quality, and other pivotal areas of engineering.
Siemens Energy has made it possible for me to pursue my PMP certification, and a Master’s in Engineering Management with the help of their tuition reimbursement program. They encouraged me to own my career using their resources and support while offering ideas and presenting growth opportunities. I applied and was one of four people selected globally to participate in a training program for mid-career professionals with potential and an interest in moving into leadership in manufacturing. With this selection, I moved to work at one of our manufacturing facilities located on the same campus as headquarters in Berlin. Working in a new and diverse culture has been an incredible experience, and I’m so proud to be part of the strong heritage of manufacturing, working in the historic Peter Behrens Hall and highlighting the high-class products built with high-class processes by proud employees of Siemens Energy. As well as highlighting what is happening in R&D space to meet the goals of reducing the CO2 footprint.
Along my journey, I’ve been able to achieve some incredible milestones, like exceeding expected delivery schedules for key service customers, being selected, and recognized as a STEP Ahead honoree by the National Association of Manufacturing – but one of the accomplishments that makes me most proud is being the mother of school aged children, a son and daughter. I’m also honored to be able to promote women in STEM, serving as an e-mentor and helping to open doors for other young women who are interested in engineering. That includes my own children but specifically, my daughter, who is now a Junior Member of the National Society of Black Engineers and is developing her own love for STEM.
While I still know people in my family who do not have reliable electricity in Zimbabwe, I’m inspired to be part of the energy transformation and I’m excited about the future. As I think about the vision of Siemens Energy, the work we do, and the difference we make, we are not only increasing the accessibility of electricity, but we are improving and saving lives. I’m working on projects that I know will impact society – and that’s something I’m proud to be a part of.
Interested in a job like Mutsa’s? Explore career opportunities at Siemens Energy here.