Freedom, cultural diversity and empowerment - just a few things Antonio loves about Cummins
Whether he’s wearing his official engineers’ hat or his unofficial translators’ cap, Antonio enjoys a lot of freedom in his career.
“I’m a guy of many hats.” That’s how Antonio Robinson describes his role as an Electrical Senior Product Design Engineer, dealing with everything from platform running to internal auditing. Yet, interestingly enough, it was a literal hat that started his Cummins career journey. He was first introduced to Cummins back in college in Alabama when he was doing a co-op with another company that had a service contract with Cummins for its motorhomes.
I remember the Cummins engineer was the happiest person there.
“So, I said to him one day, ‘Hey, how come you’re so happy coming down to the backwoods of Alabama every day to do your job’? And he said, ‘I love the company I work for. Cummins gives me all the freedom to do my job, without micro-managing me’.”
I told him that sounds good to me, so he encouraged me to apply. And he even gave me a Cummins hat, which I still have to this day.
Five years later, Antonio is now working out of Minneapolis, MN and says the freedom he first heard about in the backwoods of Alabama still holds true today and is one of the things he enjoys most about working for Cummins.
People here are allowed a lot of freedom and autonomy in their jobs every day.
“Because Cummins knows that when you give people freedom, it’s another way to say you trust them. And when you have trust, people feel valued, and that’s when everybody can do their best work.”
Antonio goes on to explain that you’re not just more empowered in your daily work here – you’re free to pursue other interests that make your career more rewarding and interesting. For example, Antonio serves as a Cummins liaison to the National Society of Black Engineers chapter in Minneapolis, helping out with campus recruiting, and he’s an “intern champion,” mentoring and guiding a student intern. When asked what else he enjoys about working for Cummins, Antonio doesn’t hesitate to point out the cultural diversity that exists here.
“Cummins is very diverse. If you work here, you’re going to be exposed to different cultures. I’ve been on a team with people from Latin America, Africa, India, and Korea. It’s all a big web of different cultures. Before COVID, we had certain days where on a Friday we'll go eat Korean or on another Friday, we'll go eat Indian. And other days we’d try soul food or African food.”
It's really all about understanding each other and learning about and respecting everybody's cultures and upbringing.
Speaking of upbringing, when Antonio looks back at his own, he notices an unexpected benefit that he brings to work with him every day.
“My mom always called me a social butterfly, and being born outside America, I was never the guy with the perfect clean-cut English, but I would enjoy interacting and talking with all types of people. We have meetings with different suppliers from out of the country, and they'll start talking and sometimes it can be hard to understand them – but I can. I really think of it as a gift, and it makes working for such a big, culturally diverse company like Cummins that much more enjoyable.”
Antonio says he’s very comfortable getting people to gel as a team and come together to achieve their goals. He’d like to continue doing that on all his projects as he keeps advancing in his career, enjoying the journey and all the people he shares it with.
“Because at heart, I’m a people person, and what COVID taught me is – I hate staying at home. I need to come into work and touch stuff and play with new parts and interact with my team every day.”