Atlanta, 10th January 2019

People at ALPLA - Interview with Sara Vecerina

Sara’s parents moved from Serbia to the USA in 1998 when she was only six years old. They managed to build up a new life and Sara could finally study biomedical engineering. After graduating, she started working for ALPLA in July 2018. Recently, Sara spent seven weeks in Hard for training purposes, where we met her for this People at ALPLA interview.

Name: Sara Vecerina

Location: Atlanta (USA)

Position: New Product Development Trainee

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

Right now, I am learning the four technologies we have at ALPLA. So, the first few days of each training session are a lot of observing and note-taking. The last few days are usually spent running the machine on my own and helping complete sampling orders. When I am a Packaging Manager, they will likely be communicating with our customers, process techs, and our designers to create and make samples which we send to our customers. Getting everyone’s feedback and taking the project step by step to and through production within a timeline.

What do you find most interesting about working at ALPLA?

Truly, the people. I wanted to work for a company where I was not the smartest amongst average people, but smart among intelligent individuals. ALPLA has a way of hiring very smart people who also have great personalities, and that really drew me to the company.

What has been the favourite project you have worked on at ALPLA so far?

It would probably be an improvement project I worked on with Chris Rourke in Atlanta. It was really interesting to form an idea together to help improve the water drainage system on the SBM machine and then to test it out and propose it to our supervisors.

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Graduating from university. I had more than a few circumstances that could have held me back and I chose to push through them. It made me stronger and allowed me to be extremely proud to be a Georgia Tech alumni.

If you could switch jobs with someone, what job would you choose?

That is a difficult question. It would either be my mum or my sister actually. My mum is a teacher and that has always been a dream of mine. I love teaching people new things. My sister is a nurse and I have always enjoyed helping others, especially in a medical environment.

Who was your childhood hero?

Fortunately, I do not just have one. It would actually be both of my parents. They moved to America when I was very young. I cannot imagine being the person I am today without their influence. They came to America literally with nothing. They moved to a country not knowing the language, where their university degrees were not transferable and started a new life from nothing in hopes that my sister and I would have the best possible future.

What’s your favourite line from a film?

‘We ride together. We die together. Bad boys for life.’ It is from Bad Boys 2, the first movie my sister and I saw after moving to the United States. However, we say ‘girls’. It is truly a quote we still live by today.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

I would pick my boyfriend. He is very successful in his career at a young age as well. He had to work incredibly hard to be where and who he is now, so I am extremely humbled to have someone in my life whose brain I can pick from interview pointers to a major career decision.

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Not possible to choose. Mum plug your ears. It is an exact tie between my mum’s spaghetti and my boyfriend’s crepes. I can tell you honestly, you have not had better from either.

Name four things on your bucket list:

Build my own home, become a director of a department, climb Mt Everest, visit the Great Barrier Reef.

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