Growing up, I was a math whiz and was always drawn to technical courses. So, it seems logical that I became an engineer, right? Not necessarily.
As a young student, the thought of pursuing a STEM career seemed daunting. And once I decided to pursue it, the road was not always easy. But I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge, so I worked hard to become the person I knew I was meant to be. And it has certainly paid off.
Today, I am proud to be a mechanical project engineer at an industry-leading plumbing manufacturer, being all that I could be and more … and I’m in great company. STEM is a hugely important field, growing in diversity and numbers all the time.
So, what exactly helped me get to this point? Here are some of the key things I’ve learned so far:
Several years later, now in my career, I was presented a leadership development assignment to enhance the strategy, leadership and business side of my training. Again, I went for it, and it has made all the difference, both in my career progression and my passion for engineering.
I volunteer at our local elementary schools as part of a program to expose students to STEM careers. I also participate in Kohler Co.’s Women@Work business resource group, collaborating with fellow professional women to enhance our work experience.
Even since high school, it’s been my network that has helped me move forward, informing me about open positions, recommending me for jobs and volunteer opportunities, and providing guidance when I needed it. No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to have people beside you who can speak to your work and are rooting for you.
My ultimate goal is to be a vice president of engineering, a role where I can utilize my technical expertise to strategically grow the business by improving the end consumer experience, driving innovation and focusing on associate engagement. I am fortunate to work at a company that has appointed women to such leadership roles—including the vice president of my division—and I draw motivation from that every day.