Adapting a culture of quality in the workplace

Although she earned a degree in global management from Earlham this May, it was Nathaly Montoya’s minor in quality science that developed a mindset that has most influenced her early career.

Quality science is a term used in the life science industries, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences sectors. Quality, as a term used in these industries, means a measure of excellence or a state of being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations. Quality scientists ensure that a product is suitable for its intended purpose.

“It’s a really good program to develop your critical thinking skills,” Montoya said. “You not only develop those skills, but you also develop a good eye for details. Being able to see what others are not seeing is valuable for any type of career or major.” 

An early interest in quality science

The program’s focus on the supply chain interested her, as she recognized not many health professionals are educated on the supply chain. 

“I’ve always been passionate about learning more about the pharmaceutical industry,” she said. “These classes were focused on the supply chain, but they had chemistry courses too. I thought this was a challenge that I wanted to try.” 

Her interest in the supply chain grew from her upbringing in Nicaragua. 

“Supply chain is a big deal because we’re in the middle of Central America,” she says. “And I grew up really fascinated by how that works.” 

Bringing quality to real estate

Montoya now works as a transaction specialist for a luxury real estate company in Nicaragua. She recognizes that the quality science program was aimed at preparing students for the pharmaceutical industry, but fully intends to use the skills she learned in her new position and at any future positions. 

“Even though it’s really focused on pharmaceuticals and creating safe supply chains for the pharmaceutical industry, all of the classes are pretty general where you can apply the knowledge to almost anything,” she said. 

She intends to bring this culture of quality to her work in real estate, knowing that the skills learned at Earlham College will help her succeed in her career. 

Program perks

During her time at Earlham, she was able to intern with Salle Mae in the IT department working with software development. It was at this position that she really saw what her professors were trying to teach her about a “culture of quality.” 

“It was a totally different industry, but I really worked on setting quality as a culture and that’s one of the things that the quality science program at Earlham emphasized,” she said. “Quality assurance as a culture has to be embedded into the entire company and start at the very beginning of product development.” 

The program also helped her learn more about the industry and quality through projects looking at real-world products. Some classes would even let her review the FDA databases and see the cases for recalled products and how the companies had to comply. 

“Seeing the real cases and documents were the most valuable part of the program,” she said. “It was very hands-on, more than listening to lectures.” 


About Earlham College 

Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion foster a collaborative learning community that inspires and motivates students with transformative opportunities and experiences so they can become catalysts for good in a changing world. Located in Richmond, Indiana, Earlham is one of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 national liberal arts colleges and offers one of the top 20 classroom experiences in the nation, according to the Princeton Review.

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We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.