Gail Guynn says 'yes' to New Power

Gail

 Hello, my name is Gail Guynn. I’m a New Product Reliability Engineering Manager working with on-highway applications for New Power, which is funny as I was one foot out the door on my way to retirement in 2019!

What compelled you to work for New Power when you were so close to retirement?

I’ve been an engineer for over 30 years and worked at Cummins for over nine. I was ready to retire in the summer of 2019 and go explore the U.K. with my husband. We had it all planned out, but then I met Kendra Eads, New Power’s Americas and Europe Engineer Lead. She knocked on that figurative door I was about to walk out of and told me about the newly acquired battery team located in Milton Keynes, U.K. – right where we planned to live – and how they could use my expertise.

Every company change I’ve made was for a life change, and each change contributed to my personal growth. The opportunity to bring my expertise to New Power was life giving me another great opportunity for growth. Who was I to ignore this new and exciting opportunity?

So, I put off retirement and joined New Power. My husband and I lived in Milton Keynes (MK) for four months (pre-Covid), and I met the whole MK team. The assignment allowed me to build working relationships – much stronger than virtual – with the battery team.  I learned about batteries, and they learned about Cummins tools and 7-Step problem-solving. It was a fabulous experience, and I had loads of fun! I even learned to drive on the left side of the road!

We returned to Columbus in January 2020 where I continued with New Power Reliability and assisted with launching Cummins' first battery system.


How did you know engineering was for you? 

Gail Guynn celebrating her graduation from Virginia Tech in 1984 with her B.S. in Civil Engineering
Gail Guynn celebrating her graduation from Virginia Tech in 1984 with her BS in Civil Engineering

It was when I realized architecture wasn’t for me. I started college in architecture because I thought I could be part of building things.

One of the early assignments I had to do for one of the courses was building a one-foot cube out of either sticks or planes made from cardstock or a similar material.  And I turned in just that – a perfect cube made from planes that measured one foot by one foot by one foot. Apparently, this was not what the professor was looking for. In fact, every cube in class that actually looked like a cube crumbled under his judgmental foot. Funnily enough, those cubes were built by structural engineers.

I quickly learned afterward that architects were more on the side of making things aesthetically pleasing, but not necessarily structurally sound. And since my cube looked more like the structural engineers’ cubes, I decided to pursue engineering instead.

I suppose you could say I placed myself in a box. I am much more function than form.


What advice do you have for young women interested in STEM?

To every woman wanting to be an engineer or work in STEM – GO FOR IT!

I have seen a space shuttle launch and land – in person, not just on TV. I’ve witnessed computers go from hand calculations to room-sized machines to fits-in-your-purse-sized devices. The world has evolved immensely, and businesses have evolved from individual offices to cubicles to open seating to work-from-home. With all this evolution, demographics in each career field have become more diverse.

When I went to college, the female engineering population was minute; today the percentage is approximately 18-20%. We still have a long way to go to get that number higher, but it’s a clear indication that engineering is no longer just a “man’s world.” STEM is certainly no longer just a “man’s world.”

There are plenty of opportunities for you to join in the fun. You just have to say “yes” and go for it.


Fast facts about me:

  


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Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employee storytelling, and employer branding. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. 

Great change, constant comfort and familiarity - Anna enjoys it all at Cummins

Anna Neese
Anna Neese

From the farm to the financial world and college to career, Cummins has always been part of Anna Neese’s life as long as she can remember. “Cummins is headquartered in Indiana and I grew up on a farm in Indiana. So, we always had Cummins tractors, semis, pick-up trucks, what have you on the farm. So, I was very familiar with the Cummins name and that logo.”

Little did she know it then, but that name and logo recognition would turn out to be huge for Anna in her entire adult life starting in college. It all began at a career fair at Purdue University when she was an undergrad. She spotted that familiar red logo, and the rest is, as they say, history. Anna has been part of the Cummins family ever since. 

The logo is what really drew me in. I said to myself, okay, I know them, I will have something to talk about. So, I went over to the Cummins career booth and liked everything they had to say.

She liked it so much, that Anna followed up and went to a Cummins company info session next. She remembers leaving the session really excited and with a good feeling. 

“Everything I heard convinced me that this would be a great place to start my career. So, I applied for an internship, got accepted and had a really good experience with that. Obviously, because here it is eight and a half years later and I’m still with Cummins.”

As Anna tells it, she just wasn’t impressed by what she heard about the company – she was really taken by the Cummins Purdue college recruiting team as well. At Cummins, the college recruiting teams are made up of employees who volunteer their time from different career areas including marketing, finance, IT and beyond. Anna really appreciated this aspect and said it gave her great insight into the company and our culture. 

“I was interested in Finance, so it was great to interact with people in the trenches so to speak and learn what the day to day was like at Cummins from a financial perspective. In fact, one of the recruiters I met that day leads my finance committee now. We still get to work together all the time and I still consider her a mentor.”

Anna currently serves as a Planning, Forecasting and Reporting Controller – PFR for short, and it’s the fourth position she has held at Cummins. 

I’ve never had to wait for someone to quit or move on in order to move up. That’s one of my favorite things about Cummins. You can create your own career path.

All of her roles here have been in Finance, but Anna says they are all extremely different in nature. Over the years, she’s experienced everything from general ledger accounting to mergers and acquisitions. It’s this versatility and diversity that Anna says makes her even stronger in her current role. There’s also an added benefit that Anna wasn’t necessarily expecting but certainly enjoys.

Each new position feels like I’m starting a new job at a new company with all the excitement that goes with that. But I’m still at Cummins, so I have that stability, familiarity and all the great cultural aspects I’ve really come to enjoy. 

It’s truly the best of both worlds. There’s something else that feels very familiar to Anna – her continued connection with Purdue University. That’s because, like the people who came before her and were so instrumental in her ultimately choosing Cummins, Anna is now paying it forward as one of the leaders of the Purdue recruiting team.

“Honestly, that's the whole entire reason I do this as a volunteer on top of my normal day job,” Anna shares. “Because that's really why I came to Cummins – the Purdue recruiting team. There were several people who really mentored me through that process, and if I didn't have them, I might've made different decisions. As we go forward, I’m always aware of this and I continuously want my team and myself to be a great guiding force, making a difference for today’s students as well.”


Interested in learning more about a career with Cummins? Check out our careers site. 

Want to hear more from our team? Find more stories here. 

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Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employee storytelling, and employer branding. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. 

Kanwulia writes her own story at Cummins

Kanwulia Gwam loves a good story. Since childhood and especially throughout quarantine, you can always find her curled up with a good book. But she's not just an avid reader - she's a storyteller in her own right. 

As a data analyst, Kanwulia uses numbers as her medium for storytelling. She uses engineering and analysis to find the stories within engine data, bringing to light important information for the betterment of Cummins' products and business. 

The story of Kanwulia's career began at Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, where she interned in the paint department. It's there that Kanwulia took interest in creating something new and useful from raw materials - much like she does in her current role, working to build insights from raw data. 

"I was always a tinkerer," Kanwulia said. "I absolutely loved science and math, and then later I foundKanwulia Gwam out about engineering and how it brings all my interests together and eventually settled on mechanical engineering in college."

It was during college at the University of Maryland that Kanwulia first encountered Cummins through a Society of Women Engineers conference. "I was staying with other students, and I heard them talking about Cummins," Kanwulia said. "I decided to go to a breakout session hosted by Cummins, visited the Cummins booth at the career fair, and that led to an interview and ultimately a job offer."

Soon after college, Kanwulia embarked on her new career with Cummins in the engineering rotational program. She worked as a test engineer for over two years before taking her current role as a Systems Analytics and Modeling Senior Engineer supporting the Engine Business Unit. 

"Starting out, I didn't know anything about a diesel engine aside from the fact that some use four-stroke cycles," Kanwulia said. "But the rotational program taught me how to learn outside of a scholastic environment. In addition to my testing experience, I learned from peers and others who had been working longer than me in this industry."

Through her rotational program in test engineering, Kanwulia found herself gravitating toward data.

The data is the language of the engine. I'm translating what it has to say and telling its story.

Kanwulia's story at Cummins has many chapters. She's highly involved in the community both within the company and beyond. She's also served as a mentor to new hires, which she says informed how she sees her own career and future. 

Kanwulia has had an even greater impact on the community through her involvement with the McDowell Adult Education Center in Columbus, Indiana. She's passionate about educational equity and has mentored three women from Mexico and Japan over three years. From volunteering and leading events to serving as a language educator, resume consultant and middle school tutor, Kanwulia's commitment to providing educational opportunities for all knows no bounds. 

"Growing up, I always loved reading and my English classes," Kanwulia said. "I have always been so inquisitive, and those eduational experiences shaped who I am today. I want to make sure others have the same opportunities to find their passion and talent."

Kanwulia GwamShe even incorporates core educational strategies into her everyday work at Cummins. In her role in analytics, Kanwulia finds relationships between different data points, technologies, and problems every day. 

"I enjoy the reward of encountering a challenge, solving it, and knowing why our solution worked," Kanwulia said. "My role - and learning in general - is all about finding relationships between things and learning about how and why they're connected. That empowers you to take in new information, get creative and solve problems."

Kanwulia's primary mission is to find issues before an engine launches so customers aren't affected by it. This impacts end users as well, preventing the need for service, recalls and delays. Giving customers and end users this peace of mind motivates Kanqulia to find solutions every day. 

"Since I grew up in the D.C. area, I know what it's like to wait on a broken-down bus while trying to get to an 8 a.m. lecture or shift at work," she said. "At Cummins, we make products that people don't think about until something stops working, and it's part of my job to keep people from having to worry about that."

"At the end of the day, we're fueling people's day-to-day lives. It may not be the most glamorous, and it may not be thought about or talked about the most. But we're helping to get people where they need to be day in and day out, so they can get an education for put food on the table - and so much more. And we're finding ways to do it better, safer and greener every day. Now that's progress."

 

Interested in a career with Cummins? Check out our careers site

Want to hear more from people like Kanwulia? Find more stories here

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employee storytelling, and employer branding. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. 

Meet Jeet – IT and HR professional, painter, storyteller, and trumpet blower

Arindrajit Roy
Arindrajit Roy

 “The world is your oyster.” That’s how Jeet Roy describes his time at Cummins so far. “The company truly supports you on your career journey – opening you up to all these opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.” Jeet points to his recent career move from IT to HR as a great example of what he means.

“I found myself in IT doing a lot of reporting and data analysis. So, when I saw an internal HR posting, I thought it would be really interesting to take my skill sets of data analysis and apply them to people analytics. And the culture here at Cummins is very supportive of those types of moves. The company wants you to explore your interests, look at things differently, and chart your own course.”

As an HR Analytics Specialist, it’s Jeet’s job to mine and interpret data creation and utilization principles pertaining to Human Resources Management. But he has a much more interesting and colorful way to describe it. Which makes sense, because when he’s not at work, Jeet keeps his creative juices flowing by dabbling in painting – acrylics on canvas.

The way I see my job is I basically tell stories with data that our leaders and business stakeholders then use to create actionable strategies, policies, business plans, etc.

Speaking of stories, Jeet tells a great one about how he was introduced to Cummins. It all started when he was working on his Masters at the University of Texas and the Cummins recruiting team was there hosting a conference about integrating LGBTQ+ students into the workforce. Jeet wasn’t there for the conference; he was there as part of his on-campus job, helping to set up for the event. The Cummins team was so impressed by him and the job he did that they asked him to interview for an internship.  

It was really amazing, I got the internship, even though I wasn’t planning on interviewing at all that day and didn’t even have a resume ready.

Arindrajit Roy
Jeet in Cummins' Corporate Office Building

Fast forward several years later and Jeet is still involved in LGBTQ+ issues and initiatives. He is now leading the Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Cummins’ Indiana Headquarters. Jeet is quick to credit Cummins’ progressive mindset and his association with the Pride Group as a big influence in his life, growth, and personal journey. 

“I joined Cummins as an intern in 2016, and back then I wouldn’t have been this open talking about my life. But the more I was exposed to Cummins, its culture and leadership, and the Pride Group, the more I knew Cummins doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk – they are one hundred percent committed to creating a safe space for everybody to come forward and bring their true selves to work.”

To date, the Pride Group is over 500 members strong, was recently introduced in India (Jeet’s birthplace), and there are plans to expand to Brazil, the rest of Latin America and Europe in the near future. 

Jeet is particularly proud of his team’s recent efforts designing the Pride Group’s “Ally Program”. According to Jeet, “we tried thinking of how we could have allies come forward and say, ‘Hey, I'm LGBTQ+. I'm an LGBTQ+ ally. I'm a Pride ally, etc.’. So, we created little Ally stickers and Ally pins that people could wear to work, but then COVID happened.”

So undeterred, he and his team adjusted and got even more creative. 

“We started designing Zoom and Teams backgrounds that people could showcase during their meetings. Just another way of creating that safe space of saying, ‘Hey, I'm here for our LGBTQ+ employees. And the response has been fantastic. Vendors are noticing and asking questions and saying what a great idea it is, and how impressed they are with Cummins for doing it.”

It seems that being impressed with Cummins and Cummins employees is a common occurrence. So much so, that Jeet wishes the company would blow its own trumpet a little more.

“I run into people who say, ‘oh I didn’t know Cummins does this or is involved with that’. We have such a great company. There’s this great burst of ideas here from people with all different backgrounds. And it’s great to hear how our CEO talks about things like inclusion and diversity and caring. In fact, “caring” was recently added to Cummins’ list of values. I don’t know a lot of companies that would say or do that. We need to share all that.” 

Thanks to employees like you Jeet, we are.

Interested in learning more about a Career at Cummins? Check out our careers site.
Want to hear more from our team about #LifeAtCummins? Find more stories here.

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employee storytelling, and employer branding. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. 

Danielle pays it forward to the next generation of Black engineers

Danielle Lewis discovered her curiosity for math and science at a very young age. So, it was no surprise that when it came time to choose a career path, she decided to enroll in a dual-degree engineering program with Oakwood University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AL. Shortly after, she joined Cummins in 2016 and entered the Engineering Development Program. Through her experience in multiple technical and non-technical rotations, Danielle was able to see the company in a holistic manner from product preceding technology to aftermarket.

Danielle's engineering development program graduation photo
Danielle Lewis receiving her Engineering Development Program certificate from Jennifer Rumsey, who is now Cummins President & COO

Today, Danielle works as a Systems Engineer in New Power and is tasked with creating, testing and delivering demo electric vehicles and software. Using her mechanical engineering background and leveraging controls knowledge, she works on properly integrating new devices into company total systems. Her day-to-day work consists of developing and altering individual software components, unit testing each new device and software and then commissioning all the new interfaces together at a vehicle system level.

 

One thing I really enjoy about my job is not only the technical problem solving, but the people I work with. Everyone has their unique specialty and brings something different to the team to learn, making us extremely well-rounded. I can always learn something new and share things myself.

 
The most recent project she worked on with her team is taking a single mini excavator demo to 10 field test units. From the start, Danielle helped take the mini excavator from concept to design to reality. Because this from-scratch design is unique compared to the larger on-highway trucks she is used to working with, seeing the project come together and operate was particularly exciting.Danielle with the mini-excavator
 
Unlike previous electric vehicles and software, the entire architecture of the program was brand new – new suppliers, all new integration and all new tools. The mini excavator is a Cummins application and uses Cummins batteries. This challenging but exciting project has given Danielle the opportunity to learn more and become a working expert on the system.
 

Powering future engineers

Danielle's passion for paying it forward to the next generation of Black engineers sparked when a college mentor stepped in and asked her why she wasn't applying for scholarships. That conversation inspired her to get proactive. She graduated with in-field engineering experience (including a Cummins internship!) and zero student loan debt. Grateful to her mentors for pointing her in the right direction and introducing her to resources like the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Danielle now works towards empowering future generations who have an interest in STEM and guiding them the way her mentors have guided her.
 
Danielle is the coordinator for the Cummins NSBE Integrated Pipeline Program (IPP). The IPP is a five-year commitment from Cummins to support young engineers in their junior and senior years by providing a $15,000 scholarship, one summer internship and a dedicated mentor.

 It's all full-circle. I was recruited to Cummins through a NSBE convention, and now five years later, I am a part of providing future Black engineers these amazing opportunities as they're going through their own college careers.

Danielle working from home
Danielle working from home with her canine assistant, Apollo

With a strong drive to increase minority STEM involvement, not even a pandemic could slow Danielle down. She's organizing the Historically Black Colleges and Universities STEM Education Run (HBCU STEMER). Because of pandemic restrictions, she has pivoted the 5K walk/run to be completely virtual. She and the other participants will take part in the event while staying safe, and funds will go towards educating, empowering and elevating STEM students at HBCUs.  
 
Another program Danielle dedicates her time to is Technovation, a STEM-based initiative for elementary students. Using everyday items such as bottle caps, rubber bands and water bottles to teach STEM, she helps young minds cultivate an early fascination with STEM as they are taught to understand concepts like inertia, momentum, drag and lift, and hydraulics.

Danielle’s ingenuity for new technology and motivation to uplift other young engineers shines in her work. As she continues to help move us one step closer to a zero-emissions future, we are excited to see what her future holds. 

 

Interested in learning more about a career at Cummins? Check out our careers site.

Want to hear more from our team about #LifeAtCummins? Find more stories here. 
 

 

 

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employee storytelling, and employer branding. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. 

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