When did you first become interested in your field?
Technically, [it was during] my sophomore year at Syracuse University when I took my first Supply Chain Management class. But looking back at my childhood, I always leaned towards logistics and supply chain: planning birthday parties, packing for sleep-away summer camp, and backpacking around Europe.
Have you ever experienced gender based discrimination? If so, how did you overcome it?
I have no direct discrimination examples, but as a female, the ‘is this gender based discrimination’ voice in my mind never stops. Maybe after years it will quiet down? In a male dominated company there are small moments but there are ways to overcome it. Surrounding oneself with the right individuals is critical to having the support circle and the mentors.
Do you have any stories of a time when you doubted yourself or your abilities? How did you pull yourself out of that and what was something that helped you regain your confidence?
Great question, impostor syndrome affects everyone. Jumping into the professional world with a rotation program taught me the great lesson of ‘fake it.’ Education provides all the tools needed to perform but attitude and personality will help you make a stand for yourself.
Do you have a woman you look up to/is your role model? If so, who is it and why?
For three years I went to the gym before work. Now with the pandemic, when I have had to move to at home workouts, I miss my time in the morning where I got to get ready for the day with ladies of all ages. Hearing about their work life, travels, [and] families every day turned them all into my role models. These ladies advised me on everything from job challenges to relationships. At the gym we were all equals; some ladies ran their own business or managed a large team while some used the morning as a break from their children. Having women around me from different backgrounds and industries provided a great sense of community.
Do you have any advice for young women interested or going into your field or a message you would like to share with the young ladies watching this?
Every day before school my parents and I [had] a saying to start the day: “Have a good day, learn a lot, achieve greatness, be positive, always work hard to your goals and dreams, drive safe, and I love you.” That phrase became the foundation on how I act and lead now in my personal and professional life. For those interested in supply chain, engineering, or anything else, these are similar ideas that can be used in many situations.
How did your experiences (internships, research, etc.) help you decide on a career path?
My happenstance of meeting Pratt & Whitney individuals at a Whitman career fair my senior year of college led me to the aerospace industry. My path is as convoluted as many others out there. For over a decade I prepared myself to go into the news production industry. At Syracuse University I first joined Newhouse for broadcasting and my internships at the local museum to NBC in New York City all aligned with communications. Luckily, I realized what my hobby was versus my job interest. Communication has always been a hobby, but supply chain was a job I could do for hours and hours. Supply chain presents you with constant challenges, projects and opportunities to improve.
Why did you decide to speak at this event? What motivated or inspired you to share your experiences?
[People] years older than me provided me a path to follow and I hope to do the same for others. Whether it is sharing my stories so others can learn or helping others through their own journeys, I will always jump at [the opportunity to] talk with new people!