Kelli Dillion is extremely passionate about architecture. She loves design, selecting materials and building things – essentially the entire manufacturing process, from start to finish.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in Architecture, Kelli decided to move to Oregon with her boyfriend. There were some good schools there, and she was contemplating pursuing her master’s degree.
Once in Oregon, Kelli opted to put her education on a brief pause. The best next step for her, she decided, was to find a job in the industry, so that she could build her skill set and gain some hands-on experience.
She applied to several architecture and design-build firms.
Kelli said, “I could have taken an AutoCAD job, sitting at a desk. But I was honestly dreading that. An office job would have been awful for me. I really just wanted to know more about making things.”
Determined, she continued to apply to the jobs she wanted and decided to also post her resume online in case an employer was looking for someone with her qualifications.
That’s how Samantha Skach, Recruiter for TERRA’s Beaverton office, found Kelli.
Sam shared, “Kelli was fresh out of college and had some experience working with machinery. I thought the woodshop opportunity I had would be a great foot-in-the-door for her.”
But Kelli had never heard of staffing agencies before and was skeptical of a partnership.
She recalled, “I wondered, is this a scam? But communicating with Sam made me feel more comfortable and helped ease my doubts. “
She decided to give TERRA a chance.
Kelli made a great first impression on Sam.
“She had knowledge of machinery and concepts behind designs. She was not just eager to get her foot in the door, she was also eager to learn! And I thought her personality would also be a great fit for my client,” said Sam.
An interview was arranged between Kelli and the client.
Not long after, they made Kelli an offer! And she absolutely loves her job.
She shared, “I started in woodshop and shortly after moved into CNC operation. Soon I will be moving into rapid response/design. I love it. It’s perfect.”
“They listen to my ideas,” Kelli continued. “They let me try new things. And because of my educational background, everyone has taken me in and they all teach me things. It feels great. It’s a little unbelievable.”
The client is also incredibly happy with Kelli.
According to Sam, “Every time I spoke to the Production Manager about the employees I had on assignment there, the first thing out of his mouth was that Kelli was a rock star! This began about one week after she started the job. He loved that she knew some of the machines coming into the role and mentioned that she was already surpassing a lot of the long-term employees there, as far as knowledge. He also valued that she was super-fast and had a great attitude at work.”
She added, “Outside of her on-campus job in craftshops, where she used some machinery, she didn’t really have a strong background in manufacturing. Now she is a lead on the CNC team and doing an amazing job! She is doing all of the programming for their big client project and supervising 4-6 people!”
“I am so proud of her,” Sam commented. “This is such a male-dominated industry and it makes me so happy to see her thriving! She is the first female on their manufacturing floor to become a lead!”
What does Kelli attribute her success to?
She gave us some insight.
“I always try to be positive. It’s incredibly important on the job, but especially with a new/younger company. Everyone has pressure on them, but complaining or talking about problems in the break room isn’t productive. I think what’s really important is professionalism. While on the job, your only concern should be working.”
Searching for a new job? Kelli recommends partnering with TERRA.
“Sam wanted to know what my goals were. She wanted to know my strengths. She wanted to know what I wanted to do, instead of wanting to know only what I’d done previously. I honestly thought I would get pushed into AutoCAD, but I didn’t.
TERRA fit me with what I was looking for, and made the process a smooth one. Partnering with them took out the hassle. The stress was really not there. TERRA did all of the work for me.
And the good thing was that if a job didn’t work out, they could always help me move into something new. TERRA offers you the freedom to find something that fits you.
I’ve never had so much confidence in a job – or in myself – before,” Kelli shared.
We couldn’t be happier for Kelli and are so proud of all she has achieved in less than a year on the job!
We wish you continued success, Kelli! Thank you for letting us be a part of your story!
Want to create a success story of your own? We can help!
TERRA Staffing Group is a leading staffing firm that works with companies large and small across a variety of industries.
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