Five years ago, Claudia Fernandez Gonzalez and her husband decided to move their family from Germany to the United States. It was a big decision, but one she has never regretted.
“We were always talking about the experience of living in a different country,” she explained. “My husband had the opportunity for a new position in his company in the U.S. The timing felt right because our son was young and we thought it would be easy for him to adjust. Initially, the plan was to stay 2-3 years and now we are in our 5th year here!”
After getting settled in Michigan, Claudia applied for a quality management system (QMS) specialist opening at Gentex. The role felt like a good fit. She had spent 10 years working as a consultant for a QMS software company in Germany.
“I am a very organized person and that works pretty good for a quality systems job as we need to have everything documented and in order,” she explained.
Together with her manager, Crystl Peterson, Claudia works on quality documentation to maintain Gentex’s certifications for automotive, aerospace, and fire protection. She will plan and conduct internal and external audits and support customer audits if needed.
“I enjoy having Crystl as my manager,” she said. “We have a good working relationship and can communicate about everything inside and outside of work. I really appreciate her support, her knowledge, and her friendship.”
Claudia said auditing takes her to almost all areas of Gentex and she enjoys meeting other employees and learning about their roles. Recently, she has been more intentional about networking within the company and is a regular attendee of Women@Gentex events.
“When I started at Gentex, I wasn’t prioritizing on networking because I wanted to focus on learning about the role, the company, and getting adjusted to living in the U.S. I really like that Women@Gentex brings women together and we have the opportunity to chat, to learn, and to help out in the community.”
Now in her fourth year at Gentex, Claudia continues to build connections and take advantage of the professional development opportunities available. She is looking forward to participating in the Gentex Public Speakers class beginning this month.
“Working at Gentex is great! The atmosphere and the people make the day-to-day even nicer. Gentex offers a lot of opportunities and a good network to improve yourself; I also love how it supports the local community.”