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“Foster the future generation and don’t live life with any regrets”

octobre 11, 2023 · 1 durée de lecture (min)

Patrick Kinyanjui is currently the Engineering Manager for Fischer Connectors USA. Fischer Connectors hired Patrick as a Manufacturing Engineer, he was later promoted to Senior Engineer and Principal Engineer throughout his tenure with the company. Raised in Kenya, Patrick moved to the USA in 1996 and Georgia in 2006 when he joined Fischer Connectors.


What is your background, and why did you decide to join Fischer Connectors? What first drew you to this position and this industry?

I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts. I’ve worked as an engineer my whole career. Prior to joining Fischer Connectors I worked as a Process Design Engineer​ for MicroGroup, a medical device company which manufactures hypodermic tubing. I also worked as a Tooling Designer for Specialty Tooling, and as a Manufacturing Engineer​ for Federal Electronics. What first drew me to Fischer Connectors was their products, applications and Swiss quality standards. As an engineer I was impressed, who wouldn’t want to work for the leader in the industry?


What inspires you and/or what are you passionate about?
I enjoy learning new things and finding way to resolve all sorts of problems. I’m a problem solver by nature, and as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to be an engineer. I was notorious for taking toys apart when I was a kid, but I would always get into trouble with my parents. Why?… Because I wouldn’t take ‘my’ toys apart – all the research and development was done on my brother’s toys (mine would stay pristine) and then there was the small problem of not knowing how to put it back together at the time. I’ve gotten better throughout the years, but I still have that same curiosity to this day, I like learning how everything works from customer applications to cars. Throughout my life, technology and fixing things has always fascinated me and it’s spilled through both my work and personal lives. I’m quite the handyman in my house and my wife has a never-ending honey-do list, so everyone benefits.


I like to play and watch soccer and rugby, these are big sports in my country so I’ve been an avid fan since I was a kid. I’m passionate about cars too; I enjoy working on my car and I can do all the basic maintenance requirements: rotate tires, alignments, change up the lights, etc. I’m a long way from retirement but the vision would be to purchase old cars and restore them back to their original state. I’m unable to choose a favorite type of car because I love them all, that would be like choosing a favorite kid – which is impossible. My passion runs so deep my nephew has also taken a liking to cars, by the age of 4 years old he was able to tell you the make and model of a car just by looking at it.


What is the most interesting project you worked on while at Fischer Connectors?
The most interesting projects I have worked on with Fischer Connectors was implementing overmolding to our manufacturing site. Prior to 2006, we were not molding our own cables and connectors, so my team and I learned how to overmold, and made it possible to bring that process in-house, both thermoplastics polyurethane and liquid silicone rubber. This was a milestone for the company, and they were very challenging projects at the time – machines, processes, etc. After bringing overmolding in-house it helped the company shorten our lead-time for orders and gave us full control of our products. Prior to implementing this process, we would rely on other vendors to do the overmolding for us, and whenever there was a reject it resulted in money lost and time wasted. Having the full quality control of our products helped us swiftly fix any problems without disrupting any orders.


What principles do you live by?
Nurture family and friends, and own your life by doing the things you enjoy to do. I come from a big family and I instill this to my kids constantly, and really to anyone who will listen. Life is short, you have to foster the future generation and don’t live life with any regrets.


Tell us about your team and how would you describe your career?
My career can be summed up by three words: motivated, methodical and personable… oh and motivated (I know I said that already but it’s that prominent).

I could not ask for a better team, they are easy going and enjoyable to work with. My team is very resourceful, which makes them great at identifying solutions, which is the core of our work. I like the engineering team, everyone that works at Fischer Connectors is able and willing to help. We all have our own strengths so we cross train and we share data across the board. We are a collaborative group, which is key to continue to strive in this environment. It makes the work easier and fosters growth. Being personable is key when you’re dealing with so many departments and personalities. Collaborating with people who you want to work with, makes it that much easier to wake up and do more good work.


What would you like to accomplish in the next year/near future within this position/company?

I would like to continue developing my skills by learning and looking for new opportunities for growth and development for the company, via tradeshows, consulting industry experts, mentorships, seminars, and collaborations.


What are some of your favorite hobbies and what’s an interesting fact about you? (What’s something the average person wouldn’t know about you?)

I speak four languages: English, Swahili, Kikuyu (mother tongue) and Kamba (Kenyan dialect). I also volunteer as a secretary at my local church – I take over their communications, decision-making and community outreach for such things as food drives, youth mentorships and summer camps.


What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your education, career, life, family, etc.?
My family has always instilled in me to treat others the way you want to be treated. This came early on when I would deconstruct my brother’s toys. I apply those same core principles in my life today, when it comes to my job and raising my four kids. It’s definitely something I refer to regularly. I take the time to listen without reacting, some people would view it as good/bad depending on the situation, but for me it helps me see the problem all the way through and stay focused.


What makes you unique in your profession and what are the best skills you bring to your career?
I am easy to approach; my years of experience in the field, flexibility and personality make me unique. Fischer Connectors has changed a lot throughout the years – product requirements are more complex, headcount, space, new products, characteristics, etc., but I have been here for a while now and maintaining flexibility is key, there are always problem to solve for our customers, so the work is challenging, yet rewarding.


If you could give your younger self or someone starting in this industry career advice, what would it be?
Focus on developing your strength by seeking advice from the experts, through mentorship and fostering business relationships. Always remember to look on the bright side; there will be tough days but push through. Also, be organized and transparent so you can avoid tight deadlines.


What do you think is the key to professional success?
Support is key. I think you need to have the right support and understand all the requirements in order to be successful. The success I’ve experienced in my career has been due to the fact of having the constant support from my manager, their managers, my team and all the manufacturing technicians who make our products. I’m happy to say I’ve had constant support throughout my time at Fischer Connectors.

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