From small town kid to global traveler
As a kid, I thought being president of the United States would be a cool job. Instead, today I am chief diversity officer of Siemens AG.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York as the oldest of four children. My father, Larry, was a New York State policeman, and my mother, Dee, was a homemaker and artist.
My parents instilled in me the value of hard work, and I did indeed work hard to achieve each step forward. I graduated from high school at 16 and was the first in my family to attend college.
I put myself through college, working full time during my studies at anything and everything—from short order cook to janitor. One of my most hard-earned skills is the ability to run a high-speed floor buffer!
I tackled corporate life with the same gusto. At 21, I applied for my first “real” job as a computer programmer at Philip Morris (now Altria), and I have been offered—unsolicited—every subsequent job since then, including my positions as CEO. Throughout my career I have worked at such notable companies as Philip Morris (Altria), Kraft, Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo PLC) and my current employer, Siemens AG.
My career has taken me around the globe: Australia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and nearly every European country. I have traveled far from my upstate New York origins and have lived abroad for 16 years in London, Munich and Paris, as well as other cities less well known.
I travel 75 percent of the time, and I observe that today the business lounges in airports around the world are packed to capacity even on the weekends, indicating that a lack of work-life balance is not unique to the United States. My experiences with work are bound to resonate with people in many cultures.
Denice is also an expert author on www.EzineArticles.com – click here to read her latest articles.