Talent begins at home: Beatriz de la Vega Hazas’ Inspiring Journey into the World of Automotive

Talent begins at home: Beatriz de la Vega Hazas’ Inspiring Journey into the World of Automotive

Many children dread the thought of having to help out their parents with routine chores. For Beatriz de la Vega Hazas however, growing up in her native Spain, it was the hours spent assisting her father in assembling and disassembling various objects, including automotive materials, that sparked her passion. This spark would eventually inspire her to pursue a career in engineering. Having decided on such a route, she is now living out her childhood ambition as a graduate engineer at Nissan's Cantabria plant, a short journey from where she grew up and where her passion for automotive engineering was first realised.

Beatriz admits that her desire to fix and create objects with her father at home played a pivotal role in her academic success as it "allowed me to excel at subjects such as maths and physics at school, making a career in one of these subjects an obvious path to take". Indeed, it was a path Beatriz opted for with enthusiasm, taking on a degree in industrial engineering at the nearby University of Cantabria.

Beatriz at work on the floor of the Cantabria plant

Upon completing her studies, Beatriz found herself torn between her interests in the automotive and aeronautics fields, which she had developed during her time at university. Following a period as an engineering intern for a nearby company, the opportunity to work at Nissan as a graduate engineer at Cantabria presented itself; an option that Beatriz seized with both hands.

Having grown up less than an hour from the plant, Beatriz was uniquely placed to consider the significance of the plant to the region and feels very fortunate to be able to call it home. Having now been at Nissan for almost two years as a graduate engineer, Beatriz readily admits that no two days are the same. Mostly though, her daily role focuses on studying the feasibility of various projects, including new Nissan parts and new third-party components, and proposing changes to enhance production efficiency.

Beatriz considers her favourite part of this role to be when she is "suggesting changes on various parts, as this is when you feel most heard and visible, experiencing the satisfaction of truly helping your team not only at Cantabria but also in Barcelona and Japan, and being part of something much bigger".

The graduate programme also allows individuals to gain a wider understanding of the Cantabria plant's extensive offering, and the exact range of what goes on, from logistics to quality, and everything in between! Additionally, Beatriz feels very grateful to have had exposure to all different sections of the production engineering field whilst in her role, something that has given her a wide-ranging perspective on the overall significance of her job. Access to her tutor, who guides her development as well as acting as a mentor who she can approach with a whole host of questions and concerns about any parts of her job, has given Beatriz the support and confidence to soar at Cantabria, making the position her own.

Beatriz operating machinery at the Cantabria plant

While Beatriz has loved her time at the Cantabria plant, she is all too keen to emphasise that the number of women within the wider industry needs to increase. Reflecting on her time at university, she notes, "there were only 10 women out of 70 in my class at university, and only 5 women graduated". While Beatriz acknowledges progress at Cantabria, she observes that female representation remains limited, particularly in technical roles. "Although I see a few women in leadership roles" she explains, "there is still a gap in representation on the technical side".

Beatriz does however expect this to change in both Cantabria and across the profession, as more female trailblazers such as herself continue to work their way up the ladder. This may also help to produce more female role models – something she feels is key in inspiring more young girls into the industry.

When it comes to words of advice she would give to girls looking to follow a path into graduate engineering, Beatriz is very clear: "Go for it! Don't doubt yourself or feel as though you won't fit in. I promise you, it's incredibly rewarding to achieve your goals and be part of a diverse and supportive team. If it's what you enjoy, don't let anything hold you back!"

With her graduate programme ending soon, Beatriz is clear that she wants to continue her Nissan journey. Whether that will be in Cantabria, perhaps in a management position, or maybe moving abroad to a different Nissan site, she is undecided. What is certain, however, is that if she continues to harness and nurture that spark of inspiration that was first lit all those years ago whilst helping her father at home, her career will be a memorable one.

Interested in following Beatriz into a career at Nissan? Click hereOpens in a new tab to begin your own journey!