Emerson’s Larissa Wechsler joins our continuing podcast series on 5 Questions for an Emerson Expert. Our goal with this podcast series is to share the stories of the paths taken to a science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM) education and career in the field of instrumentation and automation, as well as to learn more about the individuals behind our Emerson experts.
Larissa leads out marketing efforts in the Lifecycle Services that Emerson provides its customers. We hope you enjoy this podcast and feel free to share any ideas on other podcasts you’d like to hear.
Jim: Hi everybody, this is Jim Cahill and welcome to another edition of Five Questions for an Emerson Expert. Today I’m joined by Larissa Wechsler. Larissa leads our Lifecycle Services marketing. She has a mechanical engineering degree from her native country, Brazil, and received an MBA from Cornell. Welcome, Larissa.
Larissa: Thank you very much, Jim.
Jim: All right. I like to start by asking our experts, what made you decide to pursue a STEM-based career?
Larissa: Since I was a kid, I always liked math and science and it was always, for me, the easiest subject at school. I initially thought about doing just like pure math as my major, you know, undergrad, but then I realized I want to do something more practical. That’s when I just started focusing on like, okay, I wanna do engineering. And what kind of engineering would be like the ones that give me more opportunities? I thought it’ll be mechanical engineering. And that’s why I chose to do mechanical engineering as my undergrad. And I also thought, like, engineering will open so many doors for different things I wanted to do in my career. It’s in the STEM fields or even outside of it, engineering opens so many doors. It also helps you develop that quantitative analytical thought process that helps you anything like professionally and also personally. That’s how I started and then later on, as you mentioned, I did my MBA at Cornell because I wanted to have that business background, so I could move more for management roles at Emerson.
Jim: Well, that’s great. And I guess from getting that mechanical engineering degree, what led you into the field of process automation?
Larissa: That’s a very good question. I started at Emerson two and a half years ago through the MBA leadership program. And the reason I decided to join Emerson in the leadership program it’s because this program gives like exposure to senior leadership of the company. So you work with different presidents, you work with different VPs of the company, with different teams in different areas. It gives you the opportunity to be part of strategic programs that are gonna drive growth for the company, but it also gives you the opportunity to explore different areas in the company until you decide what will be the best fit for your career and also would be the best fit as your next role in the company.
Jim: Well, that’s great getting broad exposure around the company and everything. So I guess in the role that you’re in now around Lifecycle Services, can you tell us about a recent challenge that you’ve been working on to solve?
Larissa: Yeah, absolutely. So as I mentioned, I’m part of…it’s a new role. I’m doing marketing for the Lifecycle Services and what we’re doing right now is we’re creating a value proposition in go to market strategy for automation solutions Lifecycle Services that goes across all business units in our company. And it’s a very exciting topic because in the recent studies that we’ve done, outcome-based services, that’s the next generation of services or what we call advanced services, it will take off in the next three to five years with a CAGR of over 8%. It’s above the market. We’re working on how we’re gonna integrate the message, how we’re creating a go to market strategy, how we’re going to develop a roadmap for that. So that’s a very interesting and exciting challenge that we’re just starting, and it’s going to be a great opportunity in fiscal year ’18 to be working on that.
Jim: Yeah, I think technology has opened up so many possibilities in serving the process manufacturers out there. So I think getting in and looking at that growth that it’s gonna have and the role Emerson’s gonna play in how we reach our customers to do that, that’s really exciting.
Larissa: And we’re trying to connect how does… do our services that are enabled by our Plantweb ecosystem, how do we go about it? How we go to market with anything as a service. As we already have the technology to do it, for example, connected services.
Jim: Well, that sounds like it keeps you pretty busy. But once you get outside the walls here and are on your own time, what do you enjoy doing outside of your work?
Larissa: Yeah, I’m very lucky to live here in Austin. It’s a great city with so many activities. There is always something going on. It’s a great weather, well, besides July and August. And I really enjoy the outdoors. So I try to go like kayaking with my boyfriend over the weekend or go for the barbecue with my friends like in the state and national parks around here, around the city. And also I try to enjoy, like, unique things about Austin like street fairs that we have or special concert events. They’re very unique about Austin. So I enjoy that as well.
Jim: Well, I’m with you there in enjoying the outdoors around here other than those brutal months of summer.
Jim: So my last and final question for you is, what advice would you have for women considering pursuing a STEM-based career?
Larissa: My advice for women considering a STEM-based career is to think about and do research about like, what are all the options for a career. Because I think we usually tend to think that careers in STEM are always very technical. And they can be technical if you want them to be but not necessarily they need to be super technical. There’s so many opportunities that you…so many different options that you can work in STEM fields like here at Emerson, for example. I would really advice do your research, talk to your friends, your career coaches, your professors and understand what are the opportunities that are out there because you’re gonna be surprised. And especially for us women, there are so many opportunities that open up and we want to make sure we bring more women into leadership positions into the STEM fields.
Jim: Well, that’s great advice. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Larissa: Yeah, of course, absolutely. Thank you for having me.