Cummins Careers Culture Series - Volume 2

Cummins sponsors over 100 Employee Resource groups that help create the right environment for success at Cummins by promoting diversity, inclusion, and lending their unique perspectives to identify opportunities that can enhance our business success.

These groups are open to all employees and are organized around dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, country of birth, gender, sexual orientation, as well as broader themes such as individuals with disabilities, veterans, and new employees. The groups also focus on providing important cultural and business environment information to ensure Cummins’ success.

This interview is the second in a series of one-on-ones with members of our Women’s Resource Group, located in Southern Indiana. Bilwa is a Senior Product Validation Engineer based out of Cummins' Corporate Headquarters in Columbus, Indiana (US).

Q:          How did you discover Cummins and ultimately begin your career here?

A:           My dad was a mechanical engineer at Cummins for over 17 years. Growing up, I witnessed firsthand how Cummins fosters an environment of innovation and technological leadership. I was inspired by Cummins and its ability to constantly push the envelope to develop an unmatched portfolio of products that were environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and were leaders in every market and every application. As a hands-on person, I envisioned a career in engineering to develop the next generation of products to advance our society & its technology.  Cummins was a natural fit for my career goals. With encouragement from my dad, I started at Cummins as an intern over 5 years ago, and now am involved in developing the latest engine technologies to power the next generation of transportation systems.
 

Q:          Elaborate on how Cummins has affected your career.

A:           Cummins provides the opportunity to advance my career through a variety of educational and professional development activities. Having tremendous interdisciplinary talent at the company has provided an opportunity to work with leaders in a variety of different fields of science and engineering. I find this has broadened my exposure to new ideas and given me a chance to learn new skills at an accelerated pace compared to similar roles at other companies. This is critical for fostering a successful career as an engineer, and I’m thankful for mentors that constantly aid in my development and exposure to the current state-of-the-art technology. 

Q:          How have you experienced Cummins’ core values in your experiences with the company?

A:           The support and mentorship that I receive from my peers have been tremendous for my own personal and professional development. The highly dynamic and supportive environment at Cummins brings out the best in people and allows employees to reach their full potential.   The mentors and peers that I worked with every day have imparted tremendous knowledge and exposed me to ideas and innovative ways of achieving goals.

Q:          Are you involved with any Employee Resource Groups? How have those groups empowered you at Cummins?

A:           I am involved with the Women’s Employee Resource Group, Cross-Country mentoring program, and the Cummins-Purdue mentoring program at Cummins. Cummins provides excellent platforms to connect with people across the company, both regionally and globally. We share the same values, motivate one another and contribute on various projects towards a common goal. I’ve received substantial support from these groups, which has enabled me to maintain a healthy work-life balance and ensures outstanding productivity in the workplace.

Q:          How have you experienced diversity, inclusion, and belonging in your role at Cummins?

A:           One key way that inclusivity is fostered and encouraged is through the creation of an environment that allows for a diversity of ideas and approaches to a particular task or project.  This enables us to expand our horizons for tackling difficult technical problems and come up with the best solutions for our customers. I have witnessed firsthand how ideas from different people and their diverse backgrounds can be used to develop the best possible solutions for many technical problems.

Q:          How has Cummins allowed you to live your values at work?

A:           The core values of the company; Integrity, Diversity & Inclusion, Caring, Excellence and Teamwork resonate heavily with the way I approach my career.  These are core values that allow us to become industry leaders and develop the best solutions for our customers. Cummins is continually reinforcing its core values on a constant basis by emphasizing these values in every interaction with colleagues and team members, stakeholders, suppliers, and customers.  

Q:          How do you balance your personal life and professional life through Cummins? Discuss how

you make it work.

A:           Cummins has great mentors and leaders that provide tremendous support professionally through their vast knowledge and experience in the industry. This has personally allowed me to achieve balance by easily getting the support and experience I need at work. The culture at Cummins of diversity and inclusion also allows me to function effectively across cross-functional teams. On a personal level, the leaders in my team are deeply involved in setting professional goals and project plans in order for employees to have a healthy balance between company objectives and personal life.

Q:          What about your role at Cummins sparks passion for you?

A:           My role at Cummins is very challenging; I work to develop the future of engine technology and deliver the best results for our customers. I realize that my work at Cummins has a much larger impact on society and the environment globally. Cummins brand recognition is highly reputable worldwide and I’m proud to be a part of the Cummins family that delivers the best products and leading technology year after year.

Q:          How has Cummins made you more passionate about technology and innovation?

A:           Cummins engines are recognized globally, and we’ve been a pioneer in delivering best in class products worldwide since the beginning of the industry. This has a pronounced impact on me and has made me more passionate about contributing by delivering innovative and environmentally friendly technologies.

 

Interested in learning more about life at Cummins or how you can make an impact? Check out careers.cummins.com, and check us out on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employer branding, and digital media. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. She currently resides in Maine with her family.

Pramod's career in New Power is fueled by his passion for new technology

Pramod Suresh Magadi loves new things. He is fulfilled by the prospect of what could be and is energized by new technologies. With his career in New Power, he partners with customers on a new frontier of renewable battery solutions. 

I've always been attracted to novelty. As a child, I wanted to explore the newest video games; as an adult, I've switched out my laptops and other devices often because I want to keep experiencing new capabilities; and as an engineer, I'm curious about how new technologies can make a positive difference in the world.


Opportunity meets passion

Pramod joined Cummins right after completing his graduate program and over the last six years, he's become an adept Controls Engineer. His Cummins journey started in the Engine Business Unit (EBU) where he developed and maintained the software that ensured proper functioning of programs used for servicing and manufacturing of engines. He worked within the EBU for three years before his passion for new technology pulled him to the New Power Business Unit. 

"I told my manager that I was interested in battery technology and when the team was planning to deliver batteries to our urban bus customers, there was a need for a Controls Engineer and my manager extended that opportunity to me."

For the last three years, his responsibilities in New Power have evolved and today as a Controls Engineer on the electric bus application team, Pramod is responsible for integrating our batteries with electric vehicles (EVs). 

"I mainly work on gathering requirements from customers and other sources, validating whether the product meets all specified requirements prior to delivery, solving issues that are reported during field testing and tuning the calibrations to meet specified needs."

He and his team work with our customers who manufacture EVs to ensure that we offer the best solutions to power the success of each customer. 


Team work makes the dream work

Pramod is based in Columbus, Indiana, but works with a team that spans across the United States and around the globe. In addition to his direct team in Columbus, Pramod's duties lead him to interface with colleagues in Talent, Oregon (USA); Milton Keynes (United Kingdom); and India. Four different time zones, and yet, Cummins' values of excellence, teamwork and caring are common threads that run across the team. 

I work with a team of dedicated people who tirelessly rally around our shared goal of developing a superior product for our customers. There's a sense of community and collaboration so we work as a united team that supports other.


Pramod's fascination with new things helps him easily adapt to change. In the wake of COVID-19, like much of the world, his working arrangement has been altered, but he remains unfazed. 

"Our team has a face-to-face culture where we would much rather be able to walk over to a teammate (where possible) and quickly discuss a matter, but now we have to do it over the computer or maybe even a virtual meeting. Nonetheless, my team and I have leaned more than ever into the capabilities for online virtual communication available in the company and we keep pressing on."


A culture of curiosity

To stay connected with the new and the possibilities of the future, Pramod never stops learning. 

"My life motto is 'Stay hungry; stay foolish,' which is a quote from Steve Jobs. I found that the best way to do that is to keep running towards the difficult work and being curious enough to volunteer for projects outside my comfort zone because they present the best rewards for my growth and learning."

For him, New Power is fertile ground for continuous learning, allowing him to keep exploring new possibilities and tinkering with what could be possible. 


New Power has a start-up environment where people are willing to try new things. With battery technology, the status quo is changing everyday so when someone presents a new position backed by accurate data, we try it."


When asked about what motivates him, Pramod shared that he derives satisfaction from completing a project and seeing a product perform as it should. 


I saw a cool drone video of the GILLIG bus on the slopes of Utah and I felt so proud to have been part of the team that worked to make it perform like it does. Seeing the video also reminded me how exciting it is that Cummins is positioning itself well for the market needs of the future.

 

 

Interested in learning more about New Power at Cummins? Explore our careers. 

Want to hear more from members of Cummins' New Power team?

Read Ryan's story

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employer branding, and digital media. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. She currently resides in Maine with her family.

Olivia integrates her passion with a career at Cummins

Growing up, Olivia was encouraged to take interest in the stereotypical girl hobbies and toys like ballet, cheerleading, and dolls. It wasn't so much that she didn't like those things, but that she was always drawn to things her brother enjoyed like cars, ATVs, and other mechanical interests. As a kid, she frequently played a game while waiting in the car - who could name the most makes and models of the other cars in the parking lot? As she grew, her parents nurtured these unconventional interests and helped Olivia's passions take hold. 

Students in my high school were generally drawn to the arts or sports over science, making me very atypical. When I enrolled as a first-semester freshman in 'Introduction to Technology,' a class of five students, I was the only female.

This introductory class sparked her interest in science and engineering even further. She soon signed up for any and all technical electives she could get into - everything from computer science, to physics, to STEM. But still, those classes were small and she was almost always the only girl in the room. One teacher of those same technical classes was steadfast in his encouragement of Olivia. He urged her not to give up and to feed her curiosity. Coupled with a counselor, they nominated Olivia for her first Society of Women Engineering Outstanding Junior Award. This nomination solidified her plans to apply exclusively to mechanical engineering programs in her senior year of high school. 


Growth through SWE 

As she started her degree program in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Haven, she knew she wanted to be active beyond her direct class assignments. She made it a point to join her local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), where she later served as President throughout her junior and senior years. Through this same network, she was able to gain her first internship with Cummins Inc. after her Sophomore year as a North American On-Highway Applications Engineer. The following summer, she returned to do product validation engineering with the Fuel Systems Integration team at Cummins. 


A long-held passion for Cummins

Olivia was first introduced to Cummins at an early age. Growing up with many diesel and engine fanatics, she attended truck shows and races in various forms, including events like Diesel National at Raceway Park in New Jersey. At this same event in 2016, she remembers seeing Cummins' large tent showcasing the X15 and garnering massive crowds. This piqued her interest even more, especially as a college student thinking about her future. After hearing firsthand from employees volunteering at the SWE conference later that year, specifically other female engineers, she knew it was the right place for her. 

When I asked real people, real engineers (who were all women), about their experiences at Cummins, their responses were the final influence that drove me to pursue a career here. 


Olivia was elated to get an interview shortly after her conversations at the Cummins SWE booth. There was no better birthday present than an offer to intern with Cummins that summer. Even better, she notes the relationships she made with other interns during this time, many of which went on to accept full-time roles with Cummins like herself. 


Values that #ShapeTheWorld

For Olivia, International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on June 23 is the perfect opportunity to shed light on the many contributions and accomplishments of female engineers. 

It's a day to celebrate the contributions of the women engineers have made historically and continue to make today. For me, it means we can celebrate, acknowledge, and remind others of the many problems female engineers have solved that can be forgotten on most days.


She goes on to note that she believes INWED doesn't stop with educating herself on the position of being a woman in engineering; she also believes it's important to place emphasis on educating others on what it's like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry through open conversations with other women engineers in her own network, male coworkers, non-engineers, and family and friends. She also takes days like INWED as an opportunity to celebrate, learn more, and amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) women in engineering support of equality. She encourages others to have these conversations about women, equality and facilitating change. 

 

Interested in more on a career at Cummins? Click to read more from our team or search for available opportunities. 

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employer branding, and digital media. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. She currently resides in Maine with her family.

Ryan uses his role in New Power to create energy innovation

Ryan Sookhoo

Our world today is in an age of unprecedented change, one where protecting our environment is a global concern, and fuel cell and hydrogen technologies engineer Ryan Sookhoo is proud to be at the forefront. Ryan is one of many new engineers to join Cummins through the acquisition of Hydrogenics in 2019 and is excited about the prospect of further developing the hydrogen energy market to meet the world's growing energy demands in an environmentally sustainable way. 


The world is embarking on an energy revolution. There are many options for power and energy, and helping to enable productive change is what I'm passionate about.


The first of its kind

Ryan enjoys interfacing with the general community and having the chance to show them real-world applications of zero-emission fuel cell vehicles. He enjoys working in an environment where each day the application or the opportunity can change, and the chance to work on something new is always exciting. Ryan takes pride in helping to usher new types of projects with hydrogen technology. He has been part of many "first of its kind" projects, but he doesn't do it alone. 

 


I am supportive of the team approach in my role; we are in it together to drive real change in the industry. We much embrace a global perspective when developing opportunities, using both our knowledge of the technology and the state of the marketplace.


Tangible technology

Ryan brings over 14 years of experience with hydrogen to the New Power team. Starting his career as an electrical engineer working on fuel cell power modules, he then moved on to manage large scale projects. His technical and practical background created a solid foundation that allowed him to leverage his experience and apply it to a business development and sales role. It was a natural progression for him in an industry that he is passionate about. 

He is now responsible for new business growth opportunities in various markets including transportation as well as stationary power. He works with key stakeholders to champion growth and product ideas, brings customers through the sales cycle, and helps support projects through their design and implementation. It's Ryan's experience across a multitude of projects that gives him a well-rounded perspective on the industry. He enjoys interacting with the energy community and having the chance to show them real-world applications of zero-emission fuel cell applications.


It's exciting to see and experience their realization that the technology is not intangible. Breaking the misconceptions is motivating. There are no silver bullets or perfect solutions to solve the present emission challenges globally, but finding what works or more importantly, what doesn't work, motivates me. Solutions to these questions require the combination of many technologies and that's exciting to be part of.


Due to his engineering background and the nature of his role, he is largely results-driven and believes "if you start something, you finish it" when it comes to his work approach. "The solutions we develop to overcome challenges bring us closer to the end goal. We do not give up when the barriers go up, we get creative and determined to finish what we've begun." 


Creating impactful results

Ryan relies on developing and maintaining relationships inside and outside of the organization to achieve his objectives, so practicing open communication is key. "Communication is not a one-way activity and the importance of talking through issues is invaluable, building rapport and leading us to steady and impactful results." 

Ryan's role has allowed him to work from home throughout the shelter in place order and adapting to the new way of working has been second nature for him. Staying in touch with customers through video calls has been crucial and is something Ryan has a lot of experience with. 


I have been working with customers in different times zones and countries for years, so using technology to keep me connected and keep projects progressing is nothing new to me. We have the tools to continue to develop business remotely and market interest is still strong. But I do look forward to meeting customers, prospects, and colleaues in person again. There's something about a face-to-face handshake that's missed in this new environment.


Ryan has been adding some excitement to his day by taking meetings and calls from his side porch turned office at home. "Where I work at home right now is very weather dependent, sharing the time between my interior home office and my front porch, or what I like to refer to as my exterior home office."

Outside of work, Ryan stays active with his family by hiking and fishing, and enjoys playing basketball or hitting the gym. With more time at home, he has recently been working on developing a green thumb with mixed results. With some time, he has no doubt that he'll create a new garden much in the same way he has been helping create a new energy market. From the seeds he grows in his garden to the hydrogen projects he helps develop, change is sprouting up and around the world, and Ryan's happy to be a part of it. 

 

Interested in learning more about New Power at Cummins? Explore our careers. 

Want to hear more from members of Cummins' New Power team?

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employer branding, and digital media. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. She currently resides in Maine with her family.

Samantha Trissler finds her fit in IT

As a kid, Samantha always wanted to be a detective. While pursuing a liberal arts degree, Samantha didn't see a career in IT on her horizon. This quickly changed when she decided to take a software development class during her senior year at Purdue University. From that moment on, Samantha knew she had discovered her passion and decided to pursue a career in STEM. With a new path and new ideas, she found herself enjoying creating applications and programs from scratch.


Women in STEM

Samantha discloses that as a woman in a largely male field, she has experienced occasional comments about her gender or doubts about her abilities. Despite those doubts, she uses these experiences as motivators to exceed expectations. She remembers when her manager brought her a network switch and told her to just play around with the device. Her manager knew she was completely capable of understanding the device and wanted Samantha to challenge her skills. Samantha doesn't let these new challenges intimidate her - she welcomes them.

Curiosity and confidence are key. Showing passion and drive opened doors to opportunities for me.


Women's History Month

Since starting a career in IT at Cummins, Samantha enjoys sharing her story and knowledge - especially with girls and young women. She believes her passion for IT and the exciting possibilities careers in STEM can offer will interest young girls and get them excited about the future. Samantha mentions reading stories from impactful women during Women's History Month always motivates her and reminds her she's not alone. There is still work to be done, and she's excited to continue moving forward as a society. Samantha strongly encourages young women interested in STEM to give it a try, because taking a chance could pave a path for more women in STEM.

Samantha shares that the Cummins booth at her school's career fair was the final booth she decided to investigate. After a long wait and an enthusiastic chat with a recruiter, Samantha accepted an internship in Information Technology at Cummins. Samantha flourished in this internship and worked on high-impact projects, exposing her to a large network of people. Soon after her internship, she received her official offer letter and didn't hesitate to accept. 

"My internship experience was inclusive, diverse, and emphasized teamwork. I thrived in that environment."


Modeling the way to success

Samantha reflects on her journey into IT and says she had no shortage of role models along the way. She fondly remembers the support she received from a college professor as the reason she enjoys outreach programs and has a passion for educating others about IT. This is just one example of the motivation and support Samantha has received to help her succeed within the cybersecurity world. Each day, Samantha is grateful for the moments to teach and share wisdom amongst her team.

"To me, role models are everywhere. There are always new things to learn and anyone that helps me learn something can be a new role model."


Interested in learning more about a career at Cummins? Click here.

 

 

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employer branding, and digital media. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. She currently resides in Maine with her family.

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