Year of Women in Manufacturing

Year of Women in Manufacturing Scholarship Helps Micaela Alvarez Advance Her Education and Career 

The Year of Women in Manufacturing of 2022 was the foundation initiative to highlight women who are truly making a difference in the industry, and Micaela Alvarez is a perfect example. She’s incredibly accomplished and a tremendous role model for women in the manufacturing field. Micaela has countless impressive accolades that truly make her stand out, including being named as a ‘MADE in New Jersey’ Manufacturing Day Rising Star award finalist. She currently works full-time at Universal Nutrition while enrolling in classes at MIT to advance her manufacturing career. NJMEP recently awarded her a scholarship to help further her education. The education Micaela’s receiving at MIT will help both her career and company’s growth. 

She became the first-ever NJMEP ‘MADE in New Jersey’ Manufacturing Day – Year of Women in Manufacturing Scholarship recipient. The scholarship was established by NJMEP’s CEO John Kennedy and given to an individual in the manufacturing field looking to pursue higher education to further their career. This scholarship is an award for Micaela’s passion and determination to further her contributions to the industry. NJMEP presented her with an amount of $5,000 to help offset her MIT tuition. 

These studies will help her become a successful manufacturing leader. Micaela expressed her gratitude becoming the inaugural recipient of the scholarship, “Humbled, Honored, Thrilled, Enthralled …incredibly grateful!” 

Example of Excellence – Manufacturing Leadership 

Dedication is one of the best words to describe Micaela. She spends the first half of the week working full-time as the Director of Operations at Universal Nutrition in their New Brunswick, NJ office. Universal Nutrition is a leader in sports nutrition products and supplements. The rest of her week is spent commuting north from her New Jersey home to MIT Sloan’s School of Management in Cambridge, MA where she is enrolled in their prestigious Executive Education program.  

For those unfamiliar with MIT’s Executive Education program, it is a rigorous program that helps individuals advance their career through cutting-edge leadership, strategy and innovation, and technology and operations training. MIT Sloan seeks students whose personal characteristics demonstrate they will make the most of their incredible opportunities made available throughout the curriculum.  

MIT Sloan School of Management’s mission is to “develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the World and to generate ideas that advance management practice.” Micaela embodies their mission. In her current role, she has several responsibilities including automation, innovation, capital projects, process engineering, maintenance, and training. These studies will give her the skills and hands-on experience needed to help her effectively lead these diverse projects. 

Micaela can pursue her studies with the encouragement and support of both NJMEP and Universal Nutrition’s COO, Chad Lewis. “I am proud and surprised! It was really thrilling and invigorating to see that you (NJMEP) are standing behind the messages that you are putting behind your conferences,” Lewis stated enthusiastically. 

She was among the selected finalists for the Rising Star award because of her demonstrated leadership and ability in ensuring everyone understands the opportunities for growth within her team and the other departments working with her team.  

She is excited to share encouraging words of advice to women who are exploring a manufacturing career path. “GO FOR IT! It is more fun than you may think. You get to build, create, and invent,” said Micaela. “It is super satisfying to physically see what you created or helped build at the end of the day or on store shelves. For the younger ones, I’d say, you get to be a self-rescuing princess!” 

As more women look towards manufacturing careers, they will need a female role model to look up to. Seeing women leaders in manufacturing, especially someone such as accomplished as Micaela has a huge impact. Her commitment to further her career through continuous education is a testament that women can thrive with support from both the employer and industry. This scholarship will help her achieve success.

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