Behind the scenes, Emerson has some impressive talent. Some of this talent has stepped out of the classroom and directly into roles where they are helping solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. As part of our Engineers in Leadership blog series, we will be highlighting those who are currently enrolled in or have completed the program and are now based in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The Emerson Engineers in Leadership Program is a two year rotational program for undergraduate engineers to gain experience in a range of functional roles and assignments, including engineering, product development, supply chain, operations, and sales and marketing.
First up is Kerryn Harrington. She shared a few interesting facts with me this week about her background and position at Emerson.
How long have you worked at Emerson?
About a year and a half.
Where did you grow up and where are you based now?
I grew up in Los Angeles, California and I am currently based in Florham Park, New Jersey.
What brought you to the company?
I was at a career fair in my senior year in college, and Emerson was one of the companies there. I decided to go to their booth and check out the Engineers in Leadership program. As a biomedical engineer, I didn’t have the opportunity to explore other industries. This program was a great way to explore a different industry and get exposure to other roles within a business. I also liked the opportunity to work as an expat for a year, that’s an experience that’s hard to come by early on in one’s career.
What has your experience been like in the Engineering in Leadership program?
So far the experience has been amazing. Even though the first year was a challenge because of COVID, the program exposed me to leaders in both platforms within Emerson. The second-year has been even better as I have been placed in a role that really challenges my ability to be decisive and manage ambiguity. I’ve also found mentors who have been really helpful and have given me career advice as I transition out of the program.
What does your job entail? Can you take us through a day in the life at Emerson?
As a Business Development and Acquisitions Analyst, my day-to-day varies. Some days we may be discussing a partnership or acquisition and it’s all hands on deck to get everything done in time. Often, we have a short time to gather the necessary information to determine if this opportunity is a good fit for Emerson’s portfolio. If there isn’t an active opportunity we are working on, I am researching and creating strategies to grow in key market spaces. I am able to present these ideas to leadership to determine the best plan of action and align strategy to business goals. It has been a great job and gives me exposure to many different aspects of the business.
What do you like most about being a Business Development and Acquisitions Analyst?
For me, it’s the exposure. I enjoy being invited to meetings with executive leadership and learning where the business wants to grow. Being in those conversations, helps me to understand a lot about the business and see what’s happening behind the scenes.
What do you like most about working at Emerson?
Outside of my role, I’ve been able to do a lot of things I’m passionate about and I’ve had immense support from leadership. For example, in my first year, I started a Black Employee Alliance chapter in Sidney, OH. This was the first chapter in Ohio and was a huge opportunity to positively impact the culture at Emerson. Engaging with leadership to market the chapter and encouraging employees to join the new chapter, taught me a lot of soft skills I was missing in my day to day. I appreciate that Emerson encourages its employees to try new roles and to get out of their comfort zone. It keeps work interesting and challenging.
And now some fun ones!
What do you like to do in your free time?
There are so many different things. I enjoy working out. I’ve started weightlifting this year. I also enjoy painting, playing volleyball and going to concerts. I’m looking forward to the weather getting a little warmer so I can spend more time exploring nature.
Tell us something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
My mom immigrated to the US from Anguilla. It’s a small island in the British West Indies and it’s very close to St. Martin. Growing up, every other summer I would go to Anguilla for several weeks and visit my family.
If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do?
The first thing I would do is pay off my parents’ house so that they can retire. I would also help pay for my sister’s college debt and help my brother pay for college.
Where’s your favorite place in the world?
Honestly, I have so many favorite places so I can’t decide. Anywhere with a view, warm weather, loved ones, and a good breeze to keep mosquitos away sound pretty perfect.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
This advice has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and always challenge myself so I can continue to grow.
If you’d like to learn more about Kerryn, check out her LinkedIn profile.