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Cynthia WeingartCynthia Weingart is a Sr. IT – Business Economics Analyst in the Strategic Services Division for Caterpillar Inc. where she leads global SAP implementations and delivers end-user training, troubleshooting and support to a worldwide customer base. Prior to this role, Cynthia worked at Archer Daniels Midland as a Safety Data Analyst where she implemented a global database to collect injury data. Weingart is actively engaged in women’s advancement initiatives. She is a board member of Caterpillar’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) which strives to promote career development and work/life balance strategies for female employees.

As an animal lover and pet owner, Weingart is a long-time donor to various pet charities including the Peoria Humane Society and volunteers as a Shelter Pal at the Homeward Bound pet clinic of Macon County. Cynthia is a graduate of Millikin University and obtained her master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading autobiographies, seeing live country music and going on cruise vacations. You can find her on Linkedin here

1. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?

It seems that the job market is more and more competitive these days. A bachelor’s degree is now the equivalent of a high school diploma so a commitment to lifelong learning is critical to staying current in this fast-paced, hi-tech world. I wouldn’t have attained my last few positions without my master’s degree in Public Administration so I am very happy I went to graduate school after college or I would have had a much tougher time moving up the ladder in this economy. In 2013, I recently obtained an APICS-CPIM certification which is an operations certificate in Production and Inventory Management. The certification consisted of passing a total of 5 exams covering topics such as procurement, supply chain, forecasting, logistics and sales & operations planning.

One of my most valuable work experiences occurred while working for Archer Daniels Midland. I had the opportunity to manage and implement a global IT software project to track injuries and automate executive level safety and health reporting. Working with global data has its challenges, but it was a wonderful learning experience that taught me all about the SDLC (software development life cycle) and that opportunity has opened up many doors for me.

I also encourage people to volunteer and get involved in special projects. Throughout my career, I have always been very involved in company ERG’s (employee resource groups), particularly those geared towards women’s advancement initiatives. What if your company doesn’t have one? Think about starting the first ERG! It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, deliver value to the business and develop skills that you wouldn’t necessarily utilize in your normal day-to-day role.

1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?

In 2014, I hope to obtain a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. I feel this will help me to take my IT and analytical skills to the next level so I can make a greater contribution to my employer.

I also hope to complete an internal leadership development program and look for ways to add value to the women’s organization that I’m a part of. It seems that every company has a myriad of needs and there are always opportunities to improve, streamline and repair processes.

2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?

In my role, I give training to employees throughout the world so it is important to be able to work with a variety of personalities and people of diverse backgrounds. Patience is also an excellent skill when doing any type of software training. 

3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?

I feel I am a cross between an improver and builder. Sometimes it’s easier to start something from scratch than try to fix something that’s already broken! I feel a strong sense of accomplishment when I have been able to leave something in a better state than it was before I got there. 

4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?

I do not have any direct reports. I mentor two employees through the Women’s Initiative Network.

5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?

Since I am responsible for implementing an SAP system and training employees on ordering and inventory systems, there is a possibility that orders would not get sent to the factory or machine sales could not end up getting recorded in the inventory books if I do not do my job well. Additionally, if an SAP implementation is not timely and efficient, the company is in danger of lost productivity. 

6. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?

Since I started my career in safety, this topic is very near and dear to my heart. Luckily my job is very safe. I just need to be careful while riding the escalator! 

7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?

Try to do something you love, that way it does not feel so much like “work!” Also learn as much as you can and become the best public speaker you can be.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.