For Maya Gowri, operational excellence is not just part of her job, it’s her actual job title.
Student Instructor: Maya Gowri, Professional Certificates in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Enterprise
At Inova Diagnostics, a San Diego-based manufacturer of invitro-diagnostic systems used in clinical immunology labs and hospitals around the world, Gowri holds the official title of operational excellence leader.
She was hired on a full-time basis about a year ago, following a six-month internship at Inova during her UC San Diego Extension Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB) and Lean Enterprise certification programs in 2011.
Prior to that, she worked at Tri-City Medical Center as senior improvement analyst.
“I had never been in manufacturing or production before, so I had no idea what to expect when I started my courses,” said Gowri, who was formerly working in marketing, business development and sales.
“It was all new to me, but the knowledge that I gained from the certification programs helped me catch on quickly.”
In addition to practical knowledge, Gowri regards the most valuable aspect of Extension’s Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Lean Enterprise programs to be its emphasis on instructor mentorship and guidance.
“While I was studying, any time I had a question,” she said, “I would go directly to my instructors – Ric Van Der Linden, Jerry Wright and Karen Martin – and they always got back to me with the right answers.”
A native of India who moved to the U.S. in 1993, Gowri holds an MBA from UC Irvine and a Ph.D from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.
She still sometimes works with Extension’s student interns, mentoring them as they complete their own LSSBB course projects.
While reluctant to describe herself as an expert, Gowri now knows her way around the manufacturing process. “I always make sure I put in the time to gain the knowledge, both at work and at home, studying the concepts,” she said. “It’s a constant process of improvement.
Adds Gowri: “Taking the LSSBB certification course was one of the best decisions of my life!”