Szczurek, U.S. Army veteran and life-long Oregonian, is a senior production scheduler at Georgia-Pacific’s Wauna tissue mill. She helps plan the production of paper that eventually converts into bath tissue sold on store shelves, including the Angel Soft brand.
Szczurek comes from a military family – her father was in the Navy and her son, son-in-law and soon-to-be daughter-in-law are all in the U.S. Air Force.
What was your role(s) and how long did you serve in the US military?
After high school, I enlisted at 19 and spent five years in the U.S. Army as Military Police, both on road duty and physical security of special weapons. My appointments took me from Fort Polk, Louisiana, to Fischbach, Germany. My duties also included acting as the Safety NCO and Legal Clerk for our unit.
What are some things you learned during your military service that transferred to your job at GP? Why was that helpful?
I take a lot pride in being known by my Georgia-Pacific co-workers as the team member they can always depend on. I didn’t know it then, but at age 19 when I entered the Army, I quickly learned accountability and confidence – two things I’ve applied throughout my civilian career
Regardless of your background, the military teaches you to step up, carry the load and work together to get things done. I always draw upon that experience in tough situations. I know how to pull in the right people and accomplish a goal.
The confidence built during my military service allowed me to take on new roles, expand my capabilities and accept challenging projects. There’s so much more I’m willing to try now, and the possibilities are exciting.
What was your US military service experience like?
My experience was challenging and rewarding, both physically and mentally. I learned the true meaning of teamwork and satisfaction of accomplishment. Also, the lifelong friendships and comradery I gained is unparalleled.
What was the proudest moment during your military service?
While there isn’t one specific moment, I am proud of my overall success in an environment that was completely foreign to me before joining the Army.
What advice would you give to others in the military about seeking a civilian job?
Integrity, discipline and respect are part of the foundation of any civilian job. The military provides you an excellent opportunity to strengthen those values, so take advantage of that and it will prepare you well for any civilian position.