Feature: STC alumna talks about life and success in manufacturing
Current Human Resources Manager at Emerson Tool Company and South Texas College alumna, Rocío Mahé, said she grew up in a culture of manufacturing that revolved around the maquiladoras. Enrolling at STC in 2016, Mahé sought a Human Resources certificate to help find a career in the United States.
South Texas College almuna Rocío Mahé said she grew up in a culture of manufacturing in Mexico. Whether it was friends or family, life revolved around the maquiladoras, or factories, and production, she said.
Like most of her friends growing up, both of her parents were employed in the factories, and Mahé said she often tells the story about how her parents met and fell in love while assembling televisions for Zenith in their early years.
Growing up, Mahé recalls her mother working the morning shift, and when she came home, her father would trade off and work the “traditional shift,” which in the 1980s and 1990s often meant working until one or two in the morning.
Family dinners at the time, according to Mahé were conversations between her parents that would center around the manufacturing process; a conveyor problem they were encountering that week or a faulty module in a television set they were producing that day.
It would all shape her future career track, she said.
“I grew up having a perspective of what a production line was,” Mahé said. “I mean, my parents were showing me pictures. I was always listening to their conversations and the talks they had with their peers while they were taking their lunch break. I grew up having all of this in my mind, and then when I entered the manufacturing industry myself, I really just connected the dots.”
People have to understand just how incredible a resource South Texas College is for students. The college offers you the path, and no matter what financial situation you may be in, if you want to do it, go out and get that career that you want. That was true in my case.
From her earliest years, Mahé said she has always been guided by a natural curiosity and the need to innovate, so it was no surprise to her that she began considering the manufacturing life first in Mexico and finally in the United States.
Prior to earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Instituto Tecnológico de Reynosa, she took it upon herself to learn English through a scholarship that not only paid for her tuition and books, but enabled her to pay for language courses through a three-month program offered in Hidalgo, Texas at the time.
Mahé said her degree enabled her to get her foot in the door in manufacturing in Reynosa and introduced Human Resources as a career choice.
But when life happened, and she married her husband, a United States citizen, she began looking for the right certification to begin working stateside.
So, 10 years after earning her bachelor’s degree in Mexico, Mahé said she enrolled at South Texas College in 2016 and sought a Human Resources certificate to help find a career in the United States.
“I decided that I had to look for a college that could expose me to real life in the United States and here in the Valley. I think it's the mindset of always looking for what I have to do. I couldn’t afford to sit down waiting for the opportunities to come to me,” Mahé said. “I knew I had to go and look for these opportunities and keep my eyes open to what industries, cities or communities were offering. It's just a matter of taking the opportunities and looking for them. And that’s a message I send to anyone looking to succeed. You don't have to wait. You have to go and look for it.”
Through the support of STC, Mahé said she would eventually land her current job as Human Resources Manager at Emerson Tool Company’s facility in Pharr, which puts her in charge of the company’s distribution center, shipping product to all corners of the United States.
“People have to understand just how incredible a resource South Texas College is for students,” Mahé said. “The college offers you the path, and no matter what financial situation you may be in, if you want to do it, go out and get that career that you want. That was true in my case.”