Written by Guest Blogger, Nicole Caceres
I heard the annoying drone of the alarm clock, hit snooze and rolled over. BAM! My eyes popped open and I shot up out of bed. Today was the day. My first day with Schneider Electric. After 15 years with another company, I was ready for a fresh start. I slurped an extra cup of coffee, gave myself a pep talk and grabbed my briefcase. I walked through the doors at the Grid in Schaumburg, Illinois and was immediately hit with what I can only describe as a buzz.
Throughout the course of that first day and those that followed, I met dozens of friendly faces. They were all more than willing to help me get set-up so I could quickly become a contributing member of the Schneider Electric family. It was obvious to me that I was in the right place; my new home. I made a vow to myself that I was going to take advantage of every opportunity offered. I was going to spend 2016 learning, networking, and getting involved.
During the first few months, I had the opportunity to visit several of our Schneider Electric locations. I heard the brilliant hum in the St. Louis Data Center. I felt the warmth of the smiles from the people in Erlanger, Kentucky. I tasted the world renowned Spanish jamón in Barcelona. Best of all, while attending an IPO (Information, Process, and Organization) workshop, I saw the heart of Schneider Electric beating in the Foxboro, Massachusetts plant.
Did you know we makes a piece of equipment that uses human hair to measure humidity? Neither did I! Crazy, right? The tour guide told a story about how the Relative Humidity Element uses human hair. The element is extremely accurate and consistent. Those of you with any bit of curl in your hair, know what humidity will do! The vastness of Schneider Electric fascinated and intrigued me. So many people, so many locations, so many cool products and services.
Learning week was a fantastic experience that made me proud to be green. Worldwide, we all came together with a common goal – to learn something new. I signed up for and completed several courses, including “Understanding bFO (the Schneider Electric Customer Relationship tool)”, “Telling the Schneider Electric Story”, and “Run, Hide, Fight (surviving an active shooter event)”. Schneider Electric senior leadership supported the entire week and it was well organized, accessible, and supported by Schneider Electric senior leadership. I walked away with new knowledge and new connections.
The people of Schneider Electric have electrified my experience during my first year here. I have found the people of Schneider Electric to be helpful, collaborative, and generally fun to work with. At Schneider Electric, we are a family, and help and mentoring are always at arm’s length. I’ve set up several exploratory discussions with people representing various areas of Schneider Electric, and guess what? Not a single one of them turned me down. That, my friends, is a sign of a fantastic team.
I am also part of the Chicago Women in Schneider Electric (WiSE) group which launched a few short months ago. Through WiSE, I’ve met like-minded, passionate people, and I’ve seen first-hand the difference our employees make. Chicago WiSE recently sponsored an event through the American Heart Association called “Go Red Goes STEM.” I participated in the mentoring portion of the day-long event in downtown Chicago. I met with more than 30 aspiring high school teens who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields. The day after the event, the below email appeared in my in-box and my chest swelled with pride and happiness:
Hello Mrs. Caceres,
It was wonderful to meet you yesterday, I attended the Go Red Goes STEM Program. It was so amazing learning about the experiences you have gone through and the tips you had to offer. I learned so much in just 4 hours. I wanted to thank you for coming to the event since it opened my eyes to new opportunities in the STEM program and I also learned more about the field of science that I want to pursue in the future.
Thank you again!
Yep, I’m home. I’m green and I’m honored to be part of a company that cares about its employees and making a difference in the world.
Nicole Caceres is currently the North America Escape Notes Project Manager and has been a member of the Schneider family since October, 2015. She is a certified PM and ScrumMaster. Prior to joining Schneider Electric, she spent 15 years at IBM in various Global Supply Chain and Skills and Education roles. She is an advocate of the benefits of using social business tools and passionate about advancing women in leadership. When not managing projects or volunteering, she enjoy spending time with her husband and 4 children – 3 human, 1 furry.
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