Kaitlin Beach began working for Olympus Surgical Technologies America in Southborough, right out of college through a co-op position in research and development. 

This role grew her interest in the physical creation of the parts, fixtures, and products her team was designing, Beach said. 

“I definitely think the products are the coolest part of my job,” said Beach.

The U.S. division of Olympus specializes in single-use surgical devices.

She spent a year in the position before transitioning into a 21-month leadership development program. This program took Beach around the world, from Southborough to Hamburg, Germany.

“I have had a unique introduction to manufacturing throughout my time at OSTA,” said Beach. 

In Hamburg, she was part of a global exchange pilot program, seeing if there could be increased international exchange between engineers. She supported a couple of different initiatives there, including technology development research and equipment testing. 

The plant in Hamburg is bigger and more established, so Beach was able to learn from their processes and bring some of this knowledge back to the U.S.

She is now back in Southborough, working full time in a manufacturing engineering group. 

Travel is one of the best parts of the job, Beach said. It’s really interesting to go through different plants and see the full spread of what we do and how we do it. 

Her current role works closely with production sites and suppliers to support new product development and sustaining initiatives.

“It is a good mix of different types of jobs,” said Beach. 

When at production sites, she focuses on the process improvement side of things, looking at the data and to figure out what is going on with a machine and how it can be improved or fixed. 

There are a lot of different roles in this industry and each one looks different, she said, and OSTA has given her lots of opportunities to grow and work in roles she otherwise would not have.

In the future, Beach said she wants to go more into Olympus’ Lean/Six Sigma group, focusing on process excellence and wanting to concentrate on improving productivity and efficiency on the factory floor. 

You can really see your impact on projects through the process side of the business, said Beach.