A chemical engineering major in college, Katara’s first job was as a process engineer in Louisiana. She was responsible for making sure the lines in her polymer production plant stayed up and running. But two years in, she knew the job—and rural location—wasn’t for her. After a couple of job moves, she started a new career chapter at Essity, and is now the global technical innovation manager—a role that plays to her skills as an engineer and to her love of marketing.
What has your career been like at Essity?
When I was looking for a job seven years ago, Essity came up, and I admit—I was not familiar with the company! My first role with Essity was a product developer with some R&D responsibilities. Two years later, an opportunity came up for a technical innovation manager role for Latin America, supporting Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. I have family ties to Latin America and the Caribbean and was able to apply my cultural perspectives to the role as well as support the launch of the TENA brand in Brazil. It was an amazing experience: I worked with marketing on the TENA launch plan. Now I’m currently working as a global technical innovation manager, which is focused on the U.S., Canada, and Europe, so it is similar to my previous role with a different market focus.
What is the culture like at Essity?
This company has amazing people working here. Everyone is just so nice! That fear of competing against your peer for the next level role? That doesn’t happen at Essity because we're a matrix organization, which means there are growth opportunities. Additionally, everyone is super supportive of each other and open to helping you learn.
What do you wish people knew about working there?
Essity is truly a global company. When I think about my role, I talk to my colleagues over in Gothenburg, Sweden, and in Latin America on a regular basis. We don’t just say we have a global footprint: Every day we’re interacting with people in other continents and other time zones. With that comes opportunities to have a career anywhere—if you want to work in another country, Essity is totally the place to do that.
What advice would you give to recent graduates?
Have a vision of what you want to do. Some companies have a structured career path: At Essity, if you work hard, you can really guide your own career. You can go beyond the boundaries of what you studied in school—I certainly did!
Essity (formerly SCA) is a leading global hygiene and health company. In North America, Essity develops and produces the leading global brands Tork, TENA, and medical solutions brands such as JOBST.