Student Spotlight: Efrain Velez

Efrain Velez

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Efrain Velez is a junior at YSU who is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. This past summer, Efrain had the opportunity to intern at Exal Corporation.

The company is a leading producer in the can and bottle industry. Exal makes bottles for various companies like Monster, Bud Light, Budweiser, Dove, and Loreal Paris. All products made at the company are packaged in-house and shipped out directly from the plant to the producing companies. Exal’s headquarters are located right here in Youngstown and they also have multiple subdivisions in places like Argentina and Brazil.

There are two types of certification offered at YSU that pertain to Efrain’s career, Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma deals primarily with non-numerical issues like efficiency, getting rid of wastes by eliminating what you can, and improving the workplace. Six Sigma is number-based ideology.

During his freshman year at YSU, Efrain decided to take the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification course that is offered to any majors on campus.

“I highly recommend the course to anyone,” said Efrain. “This was so helpful to me because many companies want their employees to have this type of certification.”

Efrain, who was only a sophomore at the time he was hired at Exal, outshone many junior and senior applicants because of his Lean Six Sigma certification.

“Getting this certificate really advances you and makes you stand out to companies,” said Efrain. “It tells these companies that you really want more and that you are willing to go above and beyond in your job.”

Efrain plans to take the Six Sigma Group Belt Certification course at YSU this spring. It is a great opportunity offered at YSU because it is a lot less expensive here than at other public universities.

At Exal, Efrain is classified as an Operational Excellence Intern. He is directly under the head director for Operation Intelligence, Mr. Oscar Mayet. At the time he was hired, he was one of two industrial engineers working for the Youngstown Exal location. His daily tasks consisted of recreating work standards, analyzing statistical data, and quality control. He was also able to provide translating services for documents that came from other Exal subdivisions in Spanish and even some Portuguese.

“It is very rewarding to work at Exal under the director,” said Efrain. “Mr. Mayet has such a wealth of knowledge and he has shown that YSU students are welcome at Exal.”

Efrain continues to work at Exal this semester and hopes to work there for as long as he can.

“Exal is like a very close-knit family and I love that about my job,” said Efrain.

By working at Exal, Efrain has realized that he wants to specialize his career in industrial and systems management.

Outside of his internship, Efrain is a member of the STEM Leadership Society, the Honors College, the YSU Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), and the Choose Ohio First program. He has also been a member in the Honors College’s Big and Little program, iPals, and English Conversation Partners. He hopes to get more involved on campus before his time is up at YSU.

“A little fun fact about me is that I love to sing,” said Efrain. “I was part of the choirs and drama club throughout high school, so if all else fails, I’m trying out for American Idol.”

To find out more about Exal Corporation and what Efrain does, visit their website at www.exal.com.