How long have you been at QPSI and what does a typical day on the job look like for you?
I started as a QA Controller for QPSI four years ago, and since then, no two days have ever really been the same. I’m usually out on the floor making sure all the lines are running smoothly and providing our teams with the documentation to follow specific customer formats and guidelines. I’ll take a lot of photos and notes to record our performance, which helps us stay compliant with not only client wishes, but also industry standards as well.
The first week of the month is always the busiest for me because in addition to my day-to-day quality responsibilities, I am also working on weekly and monthly reports to present to management, which involve compiling our KPIs (key performance indicators), so we can monitor our performance on a deeper level and learn how to improve our processes.
How would you describe your job to a bunch of kindergarteners?
I do lots of paperwork. I check everything very carefully.
What is your favorite part about working for QPSI?
I love my work! I love what I do and the people around me. It’s such a very friendly environment where we’re all team players and everyone is ready and willing to help. I can turn to others whenever there’s a problem to solve and gain their different perspectives and expertise, which truly makes my job a lot easier.
And QPSI gives me the opportunity to try anything I want to try. Since day one, I’ve had the ability to collaborate with each department and learn something new. I love how diverse the work culture is and how they embrace the opportunity to learn new skills, no matter what department you’re in or want to explore — from Production to HR to Operations.
You know the team truly cares about your growth and development and they encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. It not only gives me a better understanding of how my work can impact other aspects of the process, but also allows me to be a team player and jump in whenever someone needs help!
What is your favorite memory from your time at QPSI?
When I joined QPSI in 2016, it was the very first time I had ever seen a forklift. I remember saying to someone, I would love to learn how to drive one of those! I never thought I actually would. But the next thing I knew, I was going through training and testing for a license! I wasn’t kidding before — if you express interest in learning something, QPSI will help you achieve it. As for utilizing my forklift license, it can be intimidating up there, so I only drive it when there’s very little traffic around.
Tell us about the Biggest Loser Competition QPSI has each year.
We do this fun competition every year in January, and everyone gets so excited for it. Employees all weigh in at the beginning of the year, and we each set our own challenges for what we plan to do throughout the three months to hit our goals. But as soon as the hype of New Year's resolutions dies down, people will tend to drop off. I decided this year, I was going to be committed and go into it with a clean mindset. I was ready!
I set my goal to 20,000 steps a day, which working on the floor most days definitely helped. But I also made sure to do an hour of cardio at the gym and take a walk after dinner each night. I’d portion out my food and would make sure my last meal of the day was before 7pm. After long days, it wasn’t always easy, but I told myself I wouldn’t get lazy, and I kept pushing myself!
And you won!
I did! At the end of the three months, I was not only the last one standing, but I also lost the highest percentage of body weight to be deemed the “Biggest Loser.” We all contributed $20 to enter the competition, and we had about 20 participants, so I got all the winnings!
And even though the competition is long over, I’m still going. I’m already down 50 pounds with the goal of losing another 30 before the end of the year and a determination to keep the weight off. I used some of my winnings to buy a pair of new sneakers, which everyone on the team noticed. I figure, hey, I got it, so now I’m flaunting it!
Tell us about the Dream Manager Award you received.
Management has each employee write out three dreams they have, and QPSI helps us fulfill them. One of my dreams was learning how to cook. Growing up in a big Indian family, I never really cooked because I never needed to. Someone else was also making the meals and portioning out my food. So even at this point in my life, I’m very much a beginner and wanted to learn how I could help myself and my family.
Dream Management, QPSI set me up with cooking classes at the Walnut Culinary College in downtown Philly, where I learned different techniques and recipes. They taught me what knives are best for cutting, how to properly hold them, what temps to use for certain foods, and a lot more! Now, I’m able to help my sister-in-law prepare our family dinners on the weekends.
What is your favorite food to cook?
In Indian culture, you don’t eat meat, so for every lesson I had throughout the course, they would swap in chicken for me. I learned so many different ways to prepare it and cool techniques like how to cut it without going through the bones. Grilled chicken is probably my favorite because it’s healthier and there are so many different ways to use it. Before this experience, I had never cut a whole raw chicken open before; nor had I ever had sushi, which we also learned how to make. So there were a lot of firsts for me!
What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
Truthfully, I’m an open book! In fact, my friends will say that I’m very outspoken and tell you never to share any secrets with me. I’m terrible at keeping my mouth shut, which is just part of my extroverted personality. Lucky for me, I get to work with so many different people throughout the day, so I am always talking and sharing information with others. But I will say, my energy is hard to match!
What else do you like to do outside of work?
I recently picked up biking with my best friend as another fun activity to further my weight loss goals. While I’m not really an athlete per say, I’ve always enjoyed playing badminton, or kicking a soccer ball around with my nephew.
My friends and I also go to the movies every two weeks. It’s become somewhat of a tradition for us because this way, no matter how busy we are with work or relationships, we have to get together for movie night! But everyone knows, we will not be seeing anything horror-related because I’ll have nightmares!
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t eat too much — because losing weight is the hard part! When I first moved from India, I was very skinny, but the US had so much amazing food and such incredible variety that I was trying everything I could! At the time it was great, but now I’d tell my younger self, everything in moderation. My QPSI wellness journey has certainly taught me that!