Bridget Tomlinson

Director of Quality

What is a typical day like for you?

I start the day reviewing my planner for meetings and activities. I prioritize my activities. Each week I meet with customers at one of our plants. These meetings allow me to gain information from the customer to read across organization as well as build customer relationships. I work on best in practice training presentation. I work with quality personnel at the various plants. Yesterday it was explaining customer requirements to one plant and training a new Quality Supervisor in another plant. Linamar has 22 plants in Guelph. As well as I am responsible for 5 plants in Canada, USA, and Mexico outside of Guelph.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Every day is different from the last one. I get to share best practices and ideas among the plants.

What is the least enjoyable part of your job?

Demanding customers that expect you to drop everything to look at their issues. Trying to help people who are not open to help or new ideas.

Explain the path you took to get to this job (education, internships, etc.).

Bachelor of Science Metallurgical Engineering. I worked initially in a steel mill as a shop floor Metallurgist on shifts. Working in a steel mill was a great learning experience for all my subsequent jobs.

Who or what was the greatest influence that set you on this path?

My high school guidance counselor suggested I be an engineer since I was good in math but did not want to major in math. Engineering includes a more practical use of math and less theoretical. I took classes in all of the engineering disciplines and choose the one that was easiest for my skill set. The job market is very good for engineers.

What advice would you give others seeking a similar job?

Learn everything you can in all of your positions even if it is not in your specific job description. Be an auditor to understand the interactions of departments. This will help you understand the business. I recommend Co-op jobs if possible as great learning experiences.

How does your job make a difference?

My job provides focus and understanding to the plants on customer and industry requirements. I provide metrics that allow plants to improve their performance. If you do not measure it, you do not know where you are. I perform training and I am a resource for plants.

How do you use science, math and technology in your job?

I use science and engineering in producing the automotive parts that we machine. Examples: heat treatment, forging, casting, and welding of the parts. I use math for calculating improvements or decline in efficiency, scrap, or cost of poor quality. Most decisions are made based on data. Graphs are an easy way to present data to all.

Is there one course you wish you had taken in high school but didn’t? Why?

Public speaking. It takes a while to get comfortable speaking in front of audiences. I also wish I was better at preparing PowerPoint presentations.

What makes this job right for you?

I am technically strong and well respected. I am good at analyzing situations and finding systemic opportunities.

What's the most bizarre or silliest thing you’ve ever done in this job?

Dressed up for Halloween to raise money for United Way. Two of us dressed up as two of our bosses which made everyone laugh - even the bosses.

What activities do you like to do outside of work?

Downhill skiing, Reading, Travel

You just won $10 million! What’s the first thing you’d do?

Travel around the world!

CurioCity Careers

We hope you enjoyed learning about this great STEM career! The information in this career profile was provided by this individual especially for CurioCity. We hope it helped give you a sense of what this type of job is really like.

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