Camila Costa: A Standout in the World of STEM

Phoenix Mecano internships provide opportunities for mentees to gain on-the-job tactical experience while our employees learn from brilliant minds on the rise. Brazilian native Camila Costa began her internship in February of 2022. When her spring internship came to a close, Camila asked to stay. The bright engineer and data analyst, with a head for business, thankfully remained a part of the team. 

The field of STEM has always piqued Camila’s interest. As a young girl––the daughter of an mechanic who was also a machinist––she watched her father create metal parts for oil and food industry machinery. She observed and learned. Camila knew she could do what her father did, but better. That’s what drove her to follow in his footsteps. 

In the US, higher education is making strides, and more space, for women in science, technology, engineering, and math. However, that was not Camila’s experience in Brazil. “There are only so many spaces for students to study engineering; even less for women. I entered college studying business, yet I dreamed of becoming an engineer. So, I fought hard to make that happen.” Having a head for business and a passion for STEM has given Camila the tools to work with diverse teams, strategize, and collaborate during her internship. 

Camila’s journey to the US from Brazil began due to the desire to become bilingual and work in multinational companies. A few years later, she was accepted into the master’s program at Hood College. Camila wanted to marry her engineering knowledge with technology and IT, focusing on automation. “I wanted to do things better: faster.” She was looking for more learning opportunities while putting her practical knowledge to work. “At the beginning of my second semester, I met with my supervisor. I shared how much I enjoyed data analysis and wanted to take advantage of more learning opportunities.”

While Camila was seeking an industry opportunity, Phoenix Mecano was working with Hood College of Graduate Studies seeking interns. There was a role to fill in the Enterprise Resource Planning department. The institution’s reputation for enrolling and educating high-caliber learners gave the company the confidence they would find the person they were looking for. Once they met Camila, she was the one. “Not only does our company promote diversity in STEM and the field of manufacturing, Camila understood the role and what was required in this important ERP role. We are thrilled the internship with her has been beyond successful,” Tara Julian, Human Resources Manager.

Camila loves her data-driven role in supporting the European systems within Enterprise Resource Planning. If a department needs reports with hard figures for particular projects, she’s on it. “Every day is different. I work with manufacturing, HR, business, sales, marketing, quality, and other departments.” The variety of her role keeps things fresh for Camila. “Whether I help build a website or retrieve figures a coworker needs, I love providing information that helps my teammates make confident decisions for the company and clients.” 

Regarding customer service, Camila sees data as the bottom line for clear solutions. Although Camila’s role is not client-facing, the information she and her team procure is critical. From accounts to manufacturing, information is power. It navigates improvements that can make a big difference for clients. “The data isn’t about our opinions or what we think may work. It’s about real solutions. We have the numbers right before us that prove what we know.”   

When asked what someone may find surprising about her, Camila’s answer isn’t shocking once you get to know her; she loves volunteering. ”I love working with children and helping them with everything from homework to life skills.” She also assists adults who want to brush up on their math and science skills. “I love giving back to my community, whether home in Brazil or in the US.” 

Outside of work, you’ll find Camila hiking. Her favorite location? Any place where her tent can be next to the water. Last year, Camila climbed and explored Yellowstone National Park. “I had to cut my trip short and get back to classes, but one day I’m heading back to see the waterfalls!” she shares.  

Whether trekking through a national park or paving the way for other women in STEM, Camila never shirks away from a challenge. It’s one of the reasons she loves being a part of the Phoenix Mecano family. “I like solving problems, no matter what they are. Helping find solutions for our enclosures is fascinating to me. Whether crunching numbers, learning from coworkers, or absorbing more information, it helps me develop my skills while helping the company and our clients.”

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