Jacobs Women’s Network (JWN), one of our eight Jacobs Employee Networks, is shining the spotlight on various career paths in Jacobs through the voices of talented JWN members around the globe in a new series for Jacobs.com called Mentor Moments. Originally published for the monthly “Women’s Network Wednesday” newsletter, featured members are spotlighted each month for their efforts to foster an inclusive environment and represent the strength and diversity of the network.
In this Mentor Moment for Jacobs.com, we meet Architectural Designer and Executive Consultant for Federal & Environmental Solutions (F&ES) Kristin Jones:
How did you start off your career?
I started as an Architectural Designer with the Arlington, Virginia office and was always looking for new ways to enhance my leadership skills. I then had the opportunity to champion the intern program, which gave me insights into management which led me into the role I’m currently finishing up as Executive Consultant of Federal & Environmental Solutions.
How long have you been working for Jacobs?
I’ve been working for Jacobs for over four years.
Why is having a mentor so valuable and who do you look to for inspiration and mentorship?
It’s beneficial to keep people around you that can speak and shine light into you when you’re struggling to see it in yourself. I have a team of people I consider mentors and inspiration, as an emerging professional it’s essential to have different perspectives to help counsel you that help define and guide you to your truth in all that you do.
What experience would you say has shaped your leadership style the most?
As a co-champion of the internship program at Jacobs, I had a lot of exposure to different mindsets. As a liaison between interns and managers, I learned to work on changing situations and not people. There are so many different scenarios that come with being in that position; it’s necessary to focus on the goals and outcomes to create space and promote success for all parties involved.
What qualities, attributes, or skills do you believe are necessary to be an effective leader?
Effective communication and comprehension and authenticity. It’s critical to understand not only how to speak to different individuals, but also to understand how best your team learns and adapt to the many styles people may come across. In the workplace, things are constantly in motion, and it’s important to always be willing to help your team grow and to always be genuine.
What training, tools and/or resources do you believe were critical in preparing you for this role?
I think opportunity, preparation, and research were all significant in preparing me for the role(s) I’m currently in. It’s valuable to understand not only how things operate, but to participate and add value in your own unique way.
What significant obstacle have you had to overcome as a woman in order to get to where you are today?
An obstacle I’ve had to overcome (and still working on) is practicing gratitude throughout different seasons of life. In facing particular challenges, it’s easy to get caught up in making a plan and deciding how to move forward. It’s easy to think small in solutions when in survival mode, it’s more beneficial to reframe your mindset to think big and objectively when being intentional about expanding our comfort zones.
What advice would you give other women to get ready for their next promotion or advance?
Be patient and kind to yourself while in the growth mindset and always be ready and flexible for things to change.
About the interviewee
Kristin Jones is an architectural designer at Jacobs. She graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. Kristin has been at Jacobs for more than four years and has significant field experience and interactions with project stakeholders. Additionally, she championed the summer intern program Jacobs’ Arlington, Virginia office for two years.
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