All week long we’re welcoming 2017 DFA graduates to the alumni network and celebrating our current DFAlumni! Check back in for daily stories featuring how alumni are applying their DFA skills and experience in their careers. We’re kicking off the week with Ritu’s story!

Ritu Parekh, DFA UC Davis ’16, works as Mechanical Engineer at MASS Precision. 

“I have multiple roles in my job; I assist the assembly team with engineering problems, I look for ways to make processes more efficient, and I help design products for customers. When I think about it, all three of these roles use skills that DFA helped me grow. Working with the assembly team requires me to pay attention to their needs and listen carefully to what problems they are having in order to best assist them. When I work on making processes more efficient I have to look beyond what’s in front of me and think outside the box. I observe the process, talk to individuals directly involved, and try to understand what purpose each step has. These are all things I distinctly remember learning about and doing in my DFA projects. When I design for a customer, I have to ignore what I think is best for them and focus on what they want and why. I listen to them and try to hear both what they say and don’t say so I can design to meet their needs. The skills I gained through DFA have really become something I no longer have to think about – I use them on a day to day basis with no conscious thought.”

Are you a DFAlumni and wanting to stay connected to the network? Tell us about yourself here.