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image005For the third time in recent years, Abbott Laboratories graciously hosted a Dallas SWE professional meeting. The evening November 19 started off with the opportunity to network and to enjoy a light meal. Then a panel of 4 top leaders at Abbott Laboratories shared career advice, including their career paths, seeking out challenges, professional milestones, and mentoring.

Ross Hynek, Senior Director Systems R & D, is the veteran at Abbott, having joined in 1986. However, Abbott is a large enough company that he had the opportunity to transition to a new role almost every 2 years. He recommended making a shift every few years, with the more dramatic the shift, the greater the growth one will experience.

Dr. Sanchali Deb, Principal Engineer in the Reliability Investigation team, provided advice that resonated with younger professionals. She related her experience of being a relatively new hire made the lead of a flagship product, one with a project in trouble and the previous team replaced. She found her age and ability being questioned; instead of reacting, she chose just to do her job to silence the questions. End of story: the product received a Presidential Award.

Cedric Marionneaux, Systems Development leader for Abbott Diagnostic Division, brought a wealth of experiences to Abbott, including military service, the defense sector and entrepreneurial endeavors.  Cedric encouraged the audience to feed their passion and to be a Continuous Learner. He is always looking for his next challenge. If he is not given one, he seeks one out.

Michaelene Sprague also had a distinguished career prior to becoming an Engineering Manager for Abbott Diagnostic Division in Dallas. When questioned about challenges, she said that she is always looking for improvement opportunities and relayed a case of reducing the number of tool sets used across different groups. One of her professional milestones took a good idea and saw it through development to become a program of record.

Thanks to the four panelists for sharing their career insights and inspiring us.

Dallas SWE President Barbara Read shared several announcements with the group assembled, including the December 15 meeting to be hosted by Lennox and the upcoming Region C conference in February 2016.

Capping the evening was a tour of the Abbott Laboratories.

Thanks to Abbott Diagnostics Division, Dallas and Alexa Wilde, Sarah Dewees, and Neha Dobhal (members of the Dallas ‘Women Engineers’ employee resource group) for their sponsorship and continued support of Dallas SWE.

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