Employee Spotlight: Meet Nancy Thao
Q. What is your role at Penumbra?
I’m currently a Production Supervisor in Roseville, CA. As supervisor, I am responsible for making sure that the area I oversee produces products that meet our quality system requirements. I do this, in part, by developing employees and working with engineers and other departments. Helping develop and guide people along a career path at the company is particularly rewarding. It helps that everyone I work with shares their valuable knowledge, which has helped me grow in my career, as well.
Q. Describe yourself at age 10. What career aspirations did you have at that age?
At the age of 10, I was the kid who volunteered to do a lot of school clubs and activities. I was student council treasurer, in charge of all the school fundraising money. I made sure we had sufficient money for school activities. However, at this age, my career aspiration was to become a top fashion designer.
Q. If you did not pursue your current career, what do you see yourself doing professionally?
I would have liked to become a fashion designer and run my own fashion boutique store in another country. One of the things that sparked me to go into fashion design was that I couldn’t find clothing that fit me correctly. I would buy clothes, recreate them to fit me, and add items to make the pieces look different. My interest in fashion grew from my love of the hand stitching and embroidery work I did on traditional outfits as part of my culture while growing up. It was taught to me when I was young.
Q. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
In the last five years, I’ve learned to accept and manage all the obstacles in my life. There are lessons in each that should not be taken for granted, lessons that help me understand why things are the way they are. Career-wise, I’ve learned to not pass up good opportunities. This way, I avoid regret.
Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m actually shy. It was not until working at Penumbra that I started to come out of my shell and be more conversational. When I became a Lead at Penumbra, it made me more vocal. It helped me be less afraid of what others might think and I stopped questioning my decisions.
Q. Before working at Penumbra, describe the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had.
Before Penumbra, I did a lot of retail jobs, one of which was working with a visual aid designer for a small department store inside the mall. We would stage the sales floor with the newest inventories and decorate the windows with banners and props. We would also flip the entire floor and stage the store with seasonal merchandise.