Carlos takes chances to overcome challenges
Whether it’s traveling, being in the kitchen or on the job, Carlos Gasteazoro is always cooking up something exciting. He takes a “no rules” approach to cuisine, a passion he has picked up amid spending more time at home through the pandemic. He especially enjoys experimenting with whatever inspires him at the moment and putting his own twist on classics from his Panamanian origins like Hojaldras and culantro-forward dishes.
He takes calculated chances at work, too, finding innovative ways to build on what exists and improve the ways of working in his role as a Segment Leader for Defense at Cummins. With support from his manager and the defense team, along with the confidence built over nearly a decade of professional experience, he’s comfortable experimenting with different approaches to find the best outcomes to the toughest challenges.
“Learning as well as providing learning opportunities to my team are the best and most important parts of my job,” Carlos said. “I’m able to learn every day because my manager trusts me. I know she’s got my back and it inspires me to do the same with my team. When I do fail, I try to do it fast, learn and come back stronger.”
From cuisine to career
Like many other Cummins employees, Carlos first discovered Cummins in college. At a conference for Hispanics in STEM (HENAAC/Great Minds in STEM), one of Carlos’ friends suggested he stop by the Cummins booth. He talked to a recruiter, got interested in the company and landed an interview shortly thereafter.
“It was a great experience going into the interview,” Carlos said. “I hit it off with the interviewer right away and we built a quick rapport. I could tell from their attitude and openness that Cummins was a company that shares some of my values and that I could see myself being a part of.”
The interviewer knew Carlos was a good fit and extended a verbal offer on the spot. After graduation, Carlos joined the Cummins manufacturing development rotational program, completing four six-month rotations in operations and engineering across the U.S.
Following his last rotation, Carlos took on a new role as a manufacturing engineer supporting integrated manufacturing and assembly processes and equipment. After working on a strategic initiative project at the Cummins Fuel Systems plant, Carlos began to see new possibilities for the next step in his career, prompting him to take a break from working and move to Spain to earn his MBA.
Strategic steps to success
It may have been the products that first brought Carlos to Cummins, but it was the culture that brought him back. “I first joined Cummins because of the type of work,” Carlos said. “I was interested in the rotational program and an engine assembly line experience. But in the culture, I could feel that I was empowered to become the best I could.”
Upon graduating with his MBA, Carlos quickly returned to a new role at Cummins working in corporate strategy. “The pipeline of work in strategy captivated me,” Carlos said.
The industries Cummins serves are going through fundamental technology shifts, helping navigate the challenges of being ready for what’s next while continuing to excel in the current business. It’s exactly what I wanted to do.
Now working in defense, Carlos leads a team that ensures Cummins continues to be a trusted partner to its customers. He takes pride in representing Cummins in this market. “We make every effort to ensure every product we make is working the right way,” he said. “Because in the defense sector, there’s no other option.”
Because soldiers’ lives depend on the technology and tools they use, Carlos says his work is meaningful, requiring a high level of care and attention to detail.
Powering a more prosperous world through a culture of inclusion
“At work, I believe my contributions have an impact beyond the product,” Carlos said.
When it comes to what the product is going to power, those needs are real and tangible. We are working on products that are made to protect the ideas you believe in and the ones you love.
Culture and community have always been close to Carlos’ heart. He travels as much as he can, encountering new people and cultures all over the world. Though he may be far from his roots in Panama, Carlos sees parallels between his hometown and the community in Columbus, Indiana, where Cummins is headquartered.
“Everyone in Panama is from somewhere else,” Carlos said.
It’s a melting pot — you may meet 10 people and they’re all different in a number of ways, so it’s normal to embrace differences across many dimensions. You feel that in the Cummins world that is the case too. Differences are celebrated.
Cummins prides itself on being a company that lives out its values. Diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords at Cummins — they’re ingrained into every aspect of the company culture.
“Cummins cares about the right things,” Carlos said. “It feels different than any other company I’ve encountered. Every company has values, but at Cummins, we live them.”
As for what’s next in his career, Carlos’ focus is on learning new things and further developing his leadership skills. He thrives on pushing beyond his comfort zone, meeting new challenges and finding creative ways to solve them.
“There’s always a new challenge that I can take on,” Carlos said. “I know that as much as I give, I’ll get in return. I’m grateful for the leadership I work for, and they challenge me to the point where it’s uncomfortable but not overwhelming — where growth usually happens.”
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