Premier Farnell employs a number of talented engineers across all our brands and services, each with their own unique skills, interests and backgrounds. These are the people who help keep our company at the forefront of engineering, innovation and technology. Over the coming months, we'll be celebrating them with this spotlight series...
Andreea Teodorescu is a Global Senior Commercial Marketing Manager at Premier Farnell. She joined the company as a Marketing Assistant in 2009 and operates from our Leeds office in the United Kingdom.
You could say that engineering is quite literally in Andreea Teodorescu's blood. Not only were her parents both engineers, her grandparents were too. In fact, her grandmother Elena was one of the first women in Romania to graduate from her University in what was then an even more male-dominated field than it is today. She was raised in the port city of Galați, where she was inspired to study naval engineering - a field she remained in for the rest of her career.
"She had an amazing career" explains Andreea. "She started at Giurgui Harbour near Bucharest in the 1950s, then went on to the Institute of Research and Naval Design before joining the Ministry of Transportation. At the time, international travel simply wasn't an option for many Romanians, especially those from poor families like hers, but her work took her to places like Finland, Nantes and Liberia. Her role was to increase productivity on cargo ships, testing different improvements to transport and ship building in action - and the only way to judge the technology was to see it in practice."
Andreea herself initially dreamed of becoming a doctor, but changed her mind after spending time in hospital with a broken leg and decided to pursue a degree in Material Sciences, including a postgraduate scholarship in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece.
Although she enjoyed studying, during her fourth year a crisis of confidence almost derailed her ambitions.
"Everything seemed to come to a head during that fourth year" she explains. "The classes, the papers, the exams... it all got too much. I started to think 'Right, what's Plan B? Because this industry is clearly too complicated for me."
Ultimately, it was the inspiration she drew from her pioneering grandmother that helped her to stay the course.
"Her strong headedness must have helped her in her career" Andreea reflects. "She wasn't tough exactly, but she was focused. She was always saying 'You might have talent, you might be smart, but you still have to work hard'. That inspired me to realise that I didn't want to waste four years of my life, so I got through it by putting the hours in and working hard - just like she'd shown me. And I did it, I passed."
After relocating to the UK, Andreea took a job as a Marketing Assistant at Premier Farnell. Ten years later, she is now a Global Senior Commercial Marketing Manager.
"I love it" says Andreea, "I get to meet people from all over the industry, many of whom I've been working with for many, many years. I meet people in semi-conductors, in passives, in measurement; every day it's someone different and I get to learn something new and stay ahead of trends. It's all because I was determined or stubborn enough to keep going... and as for my grandmother, she's still my biggest supporter."
Do you have an inspiring story about how you became interested in engineering? Share it with us in the comments below, and keep an eye out for more from this spotlight series in the coming weeks...
Note: This profile is based on an interview that was originally featured on Tektronix. Read the original piece here.