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Kristi enjoys a very rewarding and purposeful career with Eaton

Kristi enjoys a very rewarding and purposeful career with Eaton

 October 26, 2021

Meet Kristi, a dynamic professional with fabulous languages skills and two roles at Eaton.

Let's hear about her passions, motivations, core skills, and exciting career.


What motivates you?

I usually read until late at night, so I often feel the mornings come too quickly! I’ve set lively, cheerful music as the alarm on my mobile phone which helps me to wake up at first - then I grab a large cappuccino which does the rest. After that, I’m ready to face the day.

How would you describe yourself both professionally and personally?

Personally, I’m very curious about new people, events. I can think quickly and react fast to unexpected situations too. I’m talkative, playful, and love to tell funny stories. 

At work, I’m very disciplined and perhaps even a little bit too demanding with myself. I usually wonder whether I could have handled something better. With other people, I’m very easy going though! I love listening to their challenges and to think about what I would do in their situation.

Tell us more about your role at Eaton

I have two roles at the Eaton Budapest Service Center, in Hungary. My first role was to define and design a new training, now called the Sensitivity Training. This training was designed to support our company mission of being an inclusive company, enabling an open workspace for all. This training supports the need to break stigmas on various abilities. Today this program is live, and I teach all sessions. These lively trainings raise awareness, empower education, and highlight unconscious biases to help everyone understand and accept others. It’s about eroding stigmas, driving inclusion, and creating a more vibrant, diverse, and welcoming environment. The goal is to make sure that we see people, not disabilities.

The other main area of my work is testing job applicants’ languages skills during interviews on the phone or in person. Sometimes candidates are nervous, of course, and I do my best to put them at ease. I want them to feel that, although it’s a job interview, I’m just interested in them as people, and they don’t need to be worried if something doesn't come to mind.

I also teach languages. I run German, Dutch, and English classes and I love thinking about how I can make them fun and engaging. I try to give my students a glimpse into the everyday cultures and mindsets in the countries where they speak those languages.

In terms of the skills I need, I’d say empathy, patience, and a willingness to understand other people’s thinking are the most important.

What are some overall challenges or opportunities in the area you work in? 

Given the way the world has changed recently, I needed to adapt our whole approach to teaching and training. We’ve moved classes online and I’m still experimenting with how to make these remote sessions interesting and enjoyable to keep people most engaged.

How does your work contribute to Eaton's bigger picture and direction?

I think my work has really helped support Eaton to become a model of inclusion for our industry. I’ve seen the impact on my colleagues firsthand, in terms of them understanding the need to welcome and engage people with all physical, mental, and emotional abilities. 

Our training sessions empower local teams to hire more people with disabilities into roles that matter, and to support them as they build engaging and exciting careers. This isn’t a requirement or charity; we’re looking for great colleagues who can do amazing work that benefits our business.

We’ve also partnered with Eaton’s enABLE EMEA inclusion employee resource group - which is dedicated to including all those with disabilities. This helped us expand the Sensitivity Training to employees right across our EMEA region and make it an even bigger impact! It’s fantastic to see the little program I created and nurtured grow into a major strategic focus. Thanks to enABLE’s support, so many more teams can now benefit from it.

What is one of the most challenging aspects about your role? 

The most challenging things for me are usually technical issues! I use screen reader software that’s often not compatible with Office software. That can make things tricky, and I always must figure out a way that works for me. The other major challenge is hosting teaching and training online, but I’m not the only one who’s struggling with that now.

Also, what parts of your role do you like the best? 

I think the best thing about my role is the friendships I’ve built. It’s great that my colleagues like me for who I am, and that they don’t see me as a positive or negative stereotype of people with disabilities.

Can you describe the work culture in your daily life?

Eaton welcomes everyone to the table and listens to what they have to offer. We all care about doing business right and everyone’s open and respectful. We’re a real melting pot of diverse employees with different experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds and that lies at the heart of our ability to attract talented people, to innovate, and to drive sustainable growth.

What's the best piece of career advice you've ever had, or would like to share from your own perspective?

The best career advice I’ve ever had was from one of my teachers: “Let the employer know you’re interested in the job, dare to have your own opinion, and keep asking questions.”

From my own perspective, I’d say be honest about your abilities and difficulties, come up with new suggestions, and dare to take on new or unfamiliar challenges.

Why is Eaton a special place for you? 

I think because Eaton treats me like any other employee. It’s hard for people to get a job where their abilities matter and not their disabilities. And, of course, there are so many great people here. They’re not only colleagues, but friends to laugh with and to spend time with. I always feel I’m in the right place, doing work I love, and that I’m appreciated as a colleague, as a teacher, and in many cases as a friend.

Would you like to tell us about your condition?

Eaton: We make what matters work

I’ve been blind since birth. I was a premature baby born at seven months. I became blind because of an overdose of oxygen I received in the incubator. I grew up like this, so it’s normal for me and the only way of life I know. People sometimes ask me if I’d undergo an operation if it would let me see, but I really don’t know. Sure, some things would be easier—but I’d have to learn how to read and write, how to orientate myself, and how to live my daily life again. It wouldn’t make me another person either. Things would be easier, but life would be like now, my likes and dislikes wouldn’t change.

How is your team supportive of your needs?

If I need help, I know I can turn to anyone. If I can’t find a meeting room, someone will always go with me. When I started working here, my colleagues helped me find the office from the tram stop. They were lovely and very interested in how you find your way about as a blind person. They were very proud to have the ‘special’ second job of being my mobility trainers.

One person who really stands out is my manager, Anita. She’s not only a manager, but a friend who knows me very well and even worries about me if I work too much. I can call her if my screen reader doesn’t work and then she switches to ‘Remote Eye’ mode! I never told her, but I’m so thankful that she became my manager. And it’s thanks to her and to our HR manager Kriszta that I started working at Eaton. They both felt from the beginning that we’d be a good team.

What are your hobbies and how do you like to spend your free time?

I like spending time with friends, mostly people I met in high-school and university. I love reading too, usually novels and short stories from the 20 th Century to nowadays, including everything I can get in German and Dutch. To stay active, I do Pilates, stretching and spinning classes. Learning foreign languages is another passion for me - I started learning Finnish for a while and it's something I really want to go back to doing. I like going to the cinema and the theatre, and I just became a Netflix fan recently. Years ago, I rode a horse and that's something else I'd like to start doing again soon.

What skills and qualities tend to be most valued at Eaton?

The most important things are being passionate and being good at your job. Other than that, Eaton is a welcoming place where anyone can build a fantastic career and do their best work.


Join talented women like Kristi at Eaton

Learn more about Eaton's work culture and what skills and positions they specifically recruit for.

Or take a look at the company's current career opportunities.

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