Interview: Chemical Engineering alum Jackie Nguyen on ambition and work-life balance

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jackie Nguyen graduated in 2010 with a BS in Chemical Engineering and today works for NuSil Technology in Carpinteria, California.

Jackie Nguyen currently works for NuSil Technology, LLC in Technical Sales and Marketing for Aerospace and Defense, where she transitioned from Research and Development (R&D) about two years ago. In her position, Jackie helps engineers and scientists solve material challenges by working alongside her customers to develop custom solutions given the chemical and physical capabilities of the silicone world. She works from designing proof of concept through production, interacting with R&D, engineering, and manufacturing, as well as testing for quality and scale-up for production, with the ultimate delivery of the end product to the customer. To put all the pieces together to make one solution for the customer, Jackie collaborates holistically with colleagues from every department.

Jackie recently graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University integrating her engineering background with her interest in sales and marketing. Over the past two years, Jackie brought her engineering education and professional training together in a real-time academic and industrial experience. She spectacularly attended school full-time and continued as a full-time employee at NuSil. During this time, Jackie honed her already impressive time management skills and strengthened her personal portfolio with the gift of self-reflection and self-awareness.

Her perspective on time management and work-life balance, attitude and team work, and the importance of self-reflection and awareness are complexly intertwined. As an undergraduate student, Jackie felt supreme work-life balance, which quickly shifted to an imbalance as she entered the workforce with Schlumberger Oilfield Services. As Jackie moved to her position in R&D at NuSil, she focused on trying to find a more sustainable work-life balance, the importance of which really clicked while working and attending school full-time. Today, self-reflection and awareness help Jackie to manage her time to meet her goals, continuously improve to excel at her career, and maintain the balance of life most important to her.

When recalling her time at UCSB as a Chemical Engineering undergraduate student, Jackie turns to one picture that represents the epitome of her time on campus. Jackie truly loved her four years at UCSB and remembers the time fondly. She was heavily involved with the UCSB student chapter of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers). Jackie continues to retain strong connections to Chemical Engineering and UCSB with annual visits for professional development talks on campus.

In February, the UCSB student chapter of AIChE interviewed Jackie to document diverse chemical engineers’ career experience, followed by advice for current and future students. As Jackie moves through her professional life, she meets fellow Gauchos all around the world. She recognizes the importance of maintaining good relationships and continuing to build new ones as she continues through her career.

Read the original article at chemengr.ucsb.edu.

Article credit to Kyle Begley and the Chemical Engineering Department

Jackie Nguyen

Jackie Nguyen, BS ChE 2010