For Veronica Kinsella, a senior technologist/product manager at American Water, going to work each day is about more than just fulfilling a support role. “The amount of water research we do [at American Water] and patents that we hold is truly amazing,” she says, adding that it’s “the ability to innovate and create” that keeps her so engaged in the work she does.
Kinsella shared with Fairygodboss the (amazing) career move she’s most proud of, her biggest strengths both at work and at home, and the most memorable piece of career advice she’s ever received.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
Less than a year. Previously, I was in big data and data management/governance.
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
First – log in and check my schedule for the day (while eating my breakfast). Last – actually, saying goodbye to my co-workers.
What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of your job or company?
The ability to innovate, to step out of the support role and to be able to create.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
That we are not just about putting pipes in the ground and getting bills out the door, but the amount of water research we do and patents that we hold is truly amazing.
What’s something you’re especially good at at work?
I would like to say that I am especially good at building a team, making sure everyone feels valued and that they are a part of something, and that we have some fun along the way.
What about outside of work?
Advocating for my children with autism and helping others facing similar challenges.
What are you trying to improve on?
Not getting too far ahead of myself and focusing on the mountain in front of me, but rather breaking things down and celebrating the small wins along the way up the mountain.
What’s your favorite mistake?
Underestimating how much I can actually handle. I love to look back and realize that, wow, through all of that, I survived and I am happy. Maybe a bit more exhausted, but still OK.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
Taking a chance and potentially walking away from everything I knew and was comfortable with — which was working in data — to try something new. I had an idea that had nothing to do with my field, but that I thought could disrupt the industry and company in ways we have never done before — so I took a leap, and now, I will get a chance to drive that idea to reality. I’m loving learning so much, working with all of our amazing scientists and engineers along the way.
What do you love most about your job or your company?
The dedication and research we put to the most valuable resource on the planet — water — and the fact that what we do as a company has the potential to affect everyone.
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
“How Google Works” by Eric Schmidt.
What’s your No. 1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Know your worth and the value you bring and believe in it. Others won’t see it if you don’t believe it.
Who is/was the most influential person in your life and why?
I know it is a bit cheesy, but I would have to say my kids. Having to deal with the struggles of autism has taught me to look at the world so differently, to be patient and compassionate to others, and to find value and joy in even the smallest wins.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
Don’t be afraid to fail.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
Honesty. Even when he couldn’t tell the team about certain sensitive information, he would always say, “Yes, I know,” or “I have details but I can’t share them at this time, but as soon as I can, I will,” rather than pretending he did not know anything.
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