Amy Gritzinger shares how learning to fix cars with her father as a teenager sparked her interest in mechanics and put her on the path to a technical career in metrology that is both varied and collaborative.
1. What is your role within Hexagon?
As a technical support specialist in the Detroit Solution Centre for almost seven years, I’m tasked with resolving customer hardware and software issues, fielding questions, and coordinating with multiple departments including service, sales, and applications. Currently I focus on the portable products and software but help with stationary product lines when possible. A typical day includes calls regarding licenses, software updates, hardware failures, “how-to” questions, accuracy concerns, or locating the correct department. Tech support is the gatekeeper into all things Hexagon.
2. How did you come to pursue your current career?
My career has been 25 years in the making, starting in high school with vocational tech education for electrical and automotive repair, then in college focusing on quality engineering. Working my way through colleges in automotive factories, I was exposed to metrology back when hand tools like micrometers and dial indicators were all the rage. My first manual Brown & Sharpe (B&S) CMM ran DOS based MMIII, then I moved to DCC on PC-DMIS 3.5. At the turn of the millennia, I joined what was then B&S as an application engineer, and the rest is history.
3. Is there a mentor who encouraged you?
When I was 16 years old, my father said, “If you want to drive it, then you’re going to wrench on it”. This was back when car engines had moving parts. Working in the garage with my dad holds many special memories. A world of opportunities opened for me at a young age because he saw my mechanical fascination and eagerness to learn. This started my career path and has taken me all over the globe.
4. Which aspects of your job do you most enjoy and why?
I rarely solve the same problem twice. This allows me the mobility to interact daily with multiple colleagues and departments worldwide. Team efforts are critical to resolving failures in the field. The portable team has some of the top minds a support representative on the front lines could ask for!
5.What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Customers who contact technical support are often frustrated and seek immediate solutions. Luckily, I can lean on colleagues all over the world to gain perspective and assistance. Letting customers know they’re in good hands is typically disarming. Then I have an opportunity to resolve the issue and restore trust. What started as an upset customer usually ends on a good note when I treat them like a priority.
6. Which professional achievements are you most proud of and why?
Rather than pinpointing one single achievement in my career, I’m prouder of the everyday little accomplishments like quickly providing solutions or reducing customer downtime. Customers and co-workers will express appreciation and gratitude for my efforts which means a lot. Kind words keep us going.
7. What advice would you give to young women considering a career in your field?
The misconception that women lack the drive, confidence, or aptitude to succeed in technical fields is still common. Don’t ask for permission to speak up, learn, or think differently because real problem-solvers welcome fresh perspectives. For these reasons, it’s important to break stereotypes and take career risks. If you’re interested in STEM careers, then try an internship or volunteer for exposure to multiple disciplines. Get your hands dirty!