Spartan Jessica Pantano shares how her broad-ranging experiences and curious nature led her to the position she currently holds as a Program Manager for Landis + Gyr load control solutions.
Graduating from Michigan State University in 1996 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Science, Jessica had no idea she would end up working for an electric company. However, she says the hands-on experience in the field was what led her to where she is today. Mark Rose, Jessica’s mentor from her time working at the Executive level for Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative was not afraid to let young professionals, such as herself, develop management skills through trial and error. Jessica also mentions how her time as a team member and editor of the Texas Co-op Power magazine at IBM allowed her to gain a better understanding about what the role of a Project Manager consists of as well as educated her on the details of the electric field. All of which serves as important in her current role.
A typical day for Jessica involves working within her 7 customer related projects for different utility companies implementing auto control solutions in places from Mississippi to Iowa as well as her 5 internal projects. Thus, her day consists of administrative work, standing meetings, and responding to customer questions or problems. This does not leave her much, if any, downtime, which is an aspect of her work that she enjoys, and encourages everyone to take a look at the electric industry as there is much opportunity for placement and growth.
Her parting suggestions to our listeners were to be curious, to never stop learning, and to partake in any experience that comes your way, regardless of whether or not opportunities presented to you necessarily fall in line with your career aspirations. She says you never know what seemingly random experiences have in store. Perhaps, in taking her advice, you too will develop a new passion or find yourself in a position you never had expected you would end up.