What is your name and position?
Kim Skanson, Global Infrastructure Lead at Cargill, based in Minneapolis Minnesota.
What's your background?
I have an undergrad degree in Business Management (College of St. Benedict) and a MBA in Information Technology (University of St. Thomas). I have nearly 20 years’ experience in Information Technology spanning Financial Services, Retail and Agricultural Industries. I have worked across Infrastructure, Support, Operations, Application Development/Engineering, Vendor Management, Enterprise Architecture and Strategy roles.
What inspired you to become an IT professional?
Out of my undergrad studies, I pursued a career in technology because I believed technology was an enabler to every other aspect of business and I wanted to get that skill added to my “career tool belt.” I assumed I would make the rounds in IT and then move to a role outside of the technology organization. Nearly 20 years later I haven’t moved to a role outside of technology because I have continued to have challenging opportunities that have allowed me to grow and develop in new ways. Technology continues to be the backbone to business enablement and I love the variety that comes with being in this field.
Please walk me through your day, what do you do at your company?
I lead the Global Infrastructure Team at Cargill that provides Infrastructure support and operations in ~50 countries globally. We are in the midst of a significant transition to a Managed Services provider an I am spending much of my time helping the Team drive this change across the organization. In addition, I am looking for ways to optimize our Infrastructure platform to enable Cargill to continue to grow its ~140B annual revenue.
Can you see yourself in ten years doing the same thing you do now?
I envision continuing to be in an IT role in 10 years. However, I don’t assume that it will be in Infrastructure Operations. Throughout my career I have found challenge and fun in a variety of roles; I am open to leveraging my experience in whatever the road ahead is….undoubtedly it will be challenging and rewarding and if history is any prediction of the future, I will have a lot of fun along the way!
What is the best advice you ever received?
Never run away from something, always run to something.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year?
Follow your nose and stay curious. I recently left my role at Target after 10 awesome years to follow a new journey at Cargill. My curiosity led me down this path and I am so glad I took a risk and followed my nose. J
And what are your plans for the future?
As a busy mom of three active boys, I want to continue to be the best mom, spouse and leader I can be. For me balancing all the demands of life will continue to be a priority for me. By finding time for me, giving back to the community, enjoying my career and teaching my boys life-long lessons….I will be fulfilled.
If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
Earlier in my career I would have been more open about being a working mom and not try to mask the fact I had two demanding careers (being a mom and my IT responsibilities). I think I held my cards to close and didn’t open up as much I could have about how to balance work and personal responsibilities. Nowadays I am an open book and want to be seen as a role model for how you can have a rewarding career and still be a great Mom!
Any advice for your local/global Geekettes?
PMA (positive mental attitude)……I am a big believer in “PMA” and bringing a “glass ½ full mentality” in all that I do. When the going gets tough personally or professional….PMA goes a long way to keep you moving forward in the right direction!