Synectic is excited to introduce our newest Associate Design Engineer, Amanda Konieczny. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and is currently working on her Masters in Engineering Operations Management at University of New Haven. Originally a native of West Springfield Massachusetts, Amanda is excited to begin her career as part of the Synectic team. I had the opportunity to speak with Amanda to learn a little more about her.
Amanda, women working in engineering is slowly becoming more common, but you still don’t see them every day. What interested you in pursuing a career in mechanical engineering?
AK: No one in my family is an engineer. When I expressed an interest, I was discouraged by my peers and mentors and basically told that I ‘couldn’t do it’ which in turn motivated me to succeed and to prove them wrong. It wasn’t easy, and I learned mostly by doing. I originally wanted to work in aerospace, but sophomore year of college, I switched to mechanical engineering because I wanted a broader experience. I worked at Synectic as a contractor and really enjoyed working in medical devices. A lot of the stuff Synectic works on is very interesting and challenging.
How have you overcome some of the challenges facing you as a woman in a male dominated field?
AK: During my junior year of college I spent 8 weeks in Himachal Pradesh India as part of my Interactive Qualifying Project. Our project was improving agricultural practices in farm lands in Mandi by technological intervention. My biggest take away was how different cultures interact, mainly in terms of male to male and female to female communication. Most times, traditional Indian males will not even shake a female’s hand. From that experience, I learned that in order to be successful as a female engineering you have to exude confidence and poise as well as speak with conviction. If you act shy, then your male coworkers will steamroll you.
Amanda, out of all the companies you could have chosen to work for, what interested you the most about Synectic?
AK: The projects at Synectic move at a quick pace and you always have a variety of things to work on. During my time here as a contractor, I learned so much more then I could have ever learned in school. You are constantly getting challenged from both your boss and the clients, so I am never bored and I have a lot of autonomy in my work. Best of all, the people at Synectic form a close knit team creating a great work environment.
We are so glad that you chose to work at Synectic! Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What are your interests and hobbies?
AK: I’m an avid swimmer. On the weekends I teach swimming to special needs children and adults. I also love to go to the gym. When I’m not swimming or at the gym, I like to spend time with my three dogs Sophie, Lexi, and Maggie.