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Employee Spotlight: Katie Rant

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Employee Spotlight: Katie Rant

What does an Entegris employee look like? What do they do all day, and what do they like about their jobs? This blog is part of a series that will take a deep dive into a variety of careers at Entegris. We’ll highlight several employees and their valuable contributions to the organization. What do they do, how are they succeeding, and why do they think Entegris is a great place to work?  

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What is your educational and employment background?

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the College of New Jersey. I was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) during my time in college, which inspired my subsequent military career. I was commissioned as an engineer officer before being stationed at Fort Carson, CO, then became medical officer of a battalion, an engineering platoon leader, and then the executive officer of a headquarters company.

How did you end up working at Entegris?

An officer’s role involves a lot of logistics support – I also coordinated training for the people in my company. This made me think of pursuing a logistics role after leaving the army. There’s a program called Hiring our Heroes which helps find internships for people transitioning out of the military. They placed me in a logistics internship at Entegris with the materials team, and I accepted a full-time position as a buyer in December 2023.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your internship?

Sure! I reported to the materials manager on day one and shadowed him for two or three weeks. This helped me learn the higher-level responsibilities of the role. I then sat down with our buyer and learned the day-to-day aspects of his role. Once I began helping him with easier tasks, I also got involved with the sustainability team. I was able to assist our materials manager by speaking with local recycling plants and asking them if we could sell or otherwise recycle our resin, cardboard, and plastic waste.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities as a buyer?

I manage nearly all the indirect spend for my site. I create purchase orders for packaging, breakroom and office supplies, and utilities ordering. I also manage our resin spend. Apart from buying, I interface with our vendors on a weekly basis to make sure that any shortages are being filled.

Can you tell me about some of the challenges involved?

Entegris partners with some very big customers. Our job is to support them by creating products made from specific materials in specific dimensions. We sometimes overbuy materials that are intended to create downstream products for these customers. Because we must commit to our deadlines on a stricter basis, we’re committed as soon as we sign a purchase order. On the other hand, the customer is free to change their mind about materials or specifications even after we’re locked in. This might mean getting stuck with materials that we can’t use right away.

The challenge can only be overcome by cooperation between myself, the customer, and other business units within Entegris. I work closely with our materials manager and planners, communicate with customer service representatives, and talk to our product managers to make sure that we meet everyone’s needs proactively.

I know that the last few years have been full of material shortages. How are we making our supply chain more responsive?

We have many fallback plans. Direct material challenges need to be escalated quickly and to a high level, because it’s a serious problem if one of our production lines doesn’t have material to work with. Depending on the vendor, the challenge might not be getting the material, but getting it on time. This means that we need to escalate shipping – by plane instead of by ship, for example. We’ll also see if we can get the material we need from another Entegris plant. This is what’s called a stock transfer order, and it’s a tactic that we often relied on during the pandemic.

What is your favorite thing about the role?

One of the things I enjoy the most about this position is how wide-reaching it can be. On different weeks I might find myself discussing biodegradable packaging materials, ordering new uniforms, getting popcorn for Popcorn Fridays, or qualifying materials for the new plant in Colorado Springs, CO.

Backtrack a second. What are Popcorn Fridays?

On the first Friday of every month, we pull out a popcorn machine and make free popcorn during lunch. I love it!

How do you find that your career in the military has prepared you for life at Entegris?

I developed a lot of my professional soft skills in the military. Officers are immediately put into management positions, which taught me how to gain confidence in myself, balance my job responsibilities, and care for all the soldiers that worked under me. I also developed hard skills in my executive officer role because I started using SAP, which is the same software we use in the buyer’s role at Entegris.

How have you and others found support at Entegris through the Veterans Network?

Once I heard about the Veterans Network, I knew I wanted to be involved. I’m now a member of the leadership team. Our goal this year are to become a truly global network, connecting Entegris employees around the world. We’re also very excited about a possible mentorship program. It’s been inspiring to meet all those who served.

What are your long-term ambitions at the company?

I would love to continue to work on my hard skills. This means developing in the logistics field, learning more about enterprise resource planning, and progressing into a manager role.

 

Thanks to Katie for sharing this great information about her role at Entegris. Learn more about Entegris careers

 

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