Priscilla Torres is a senior technical analyst in JDA’s fast-growing Monterrey Center of Excellence (CoE). In this installment of Wednesdays for Women, she talks about how she got into supply chain by way of a role in IT, why they fit so well together, and how important it is to keep learning and challenging yourself.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am from Monterrey, Mexico, I have been working in IT for 12 years.  In my spare time, I love hiking and going to music festivals and I also love animals – especially cats!

What was your first job (ever)?

My first job was as an administrative assistance in a chemistry lab. I was doing documentation for all the engineers who worked there.

You’ve been at JDA for about a year; can you tell us about your role and what brought you here?

I am senior technical analyst at JDA. I applied to JDA as I had worked with JDA software in my past job, so the technology was already familiar to me. I wanted to develop my capabilities with supply chain software and knew JDA would give me a great opportunity to gain a lot of experience.

As a fun fact, I was the first member in the SCPO Steady State team to participate in our Digital Experience program working along with teams in Asia and Europe. I contributed in publishing articles for to JDA customers, making videos on JDA products, and serve as a Community Ambassador for JDA Demand and Fulfillment, JDA Order Optimization and JDA Demand & Replenishment Guest Community, writing new documentation for the new version of JDA Customer Support Portal.

What are your favorite parts of your role?

My favorite part of my role is solving our customers’ problems. They place their trust in us and we can gain a happy customer oftentimes with a simple answer to their issue.

As an example of this recently, I helped in contacting a big bottling customer in Mexico recently to help continue our relationship with them. After I reached out to them, they decided to continue using JDA products which was a large testament to my relationship with them, as I worked with them at a previous company too.

Why did you choose a career in supply chain?

Well, actually I am an IT engineer at heart! I started to learn more about supply chain and realized all the areas within supply chain revolve around IT. It felt like a natural fit for me. It’s ever-changing and can always be improved with technology innovation to help customers facilitate how their goods get from A to Z.

What are some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career and how did you tackle them?

It’s always a challenge to take on new projects and ramp up on all there is to learn. I have learned to also keep an open mind to the tasks given to me by leaders as they always help me discover new skills.

How do you stay inspired professionally?

Helping others!  It is so important to do in all aspects of life. I learned that we all have a role in our lives personally and professionally and it all works and fits together.

What do you wish you knew when you were starting out that you know now?

I wish I knew that I would struggle in my role and that’s okay! Working in IT is a challenge, regardless of how long you’ve been doing it. There is always something to learn and it will always keep me working hard to understand and apply what I am learning in my career.

What makes a good leader?

A good leader is a person who listen to his or her team. They also must prioritize their team over themselves. A good leader does what is best for the company and their team.

What leader do you admire and why?

My aunt Leticia Torres. She is a scientist at the Autonomous University of Nuevo León and was recognized with the 2018 National Science Prize for her contribution to technological development and innovation. She received the award directly from the President Enrique Peña Nieto, at the Official Residence of Los Pinos, on October 29. She’s had a lot of articles published on her research of a new scientific element and she inspires me greatly. She’s a hard worker and very driven. She has two sons and has been working since the age of 20.

What do you think are biggest obstacles to obtaining gender diversity in the workplace?

Some people still think some jobs aren’t made for women. There still needs to be more open mindedness and awareness. Of course, we need to be conscious that they need to be qualified to cover the role, but that should be true regardless if they are a woman or a man.

What advice to you have for young women seeking a career in technology?

Get certified or be specialized in one area of IT. It will really help you focus your career and advance it as well.