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Q&A: Talking with Vice President and Deputy General Manager, Critical Mission Solutions - Cyber & Intelligence Business Unit, Barb Cadogan

Jacobs’ Barb Cadogan, talks career, her STEAM heroes and what brings her joy.

As Vice President and Deputy General Manager for Jacobs Cyber & Intelligence business, Barb Cadogan oversees operations and assists with the strategy and delivery of cyber, analytics, technology, digital and modernization solutions for more than 3,600 employees, supporting over 150 complex projects in 30 locations worldwide.

As an experienced professional with more than 28 years, Barb is known for maximizing operational excellence and is skilled in developing meaningful customer relationships, building inclusive teams, cultivating collaboration between organizations, delivering financial performance and is passionate about promoting equality.

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we’re connecting virtually with our team of engineering heroes around the world to showcase their careers and how each of them help Jacobs to live up to our promise of Challenging today. Reinventing tomorrow.

For this feature, we talked with Barb about career, the STEAM heroes who inspire her and what brings her joy.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on these days.

I have spent the last ten months integrating two business units into one as well as leading the integration of The Buffalo Group (TBG) into Jacobs’ Cyber and Intelligence Business Unit within our Critical Mission Solutions line of business. It has been both challenging and rewarding, but it wouldn’t have been possible without all the hard work, collaboration, and dedication by the great team of people supporting these efforts. This quote by Helen Keller really sums it up for me: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.  

What’s your favorite part of your role?

My favorite part of this role is two-fold: I thoroughly enjoy working with our diverse team, getting to know them, what they are working on and how they are supporting the various missions within the Cyber and Intelligence Business Unit; and I love learning. In this role it has been a steady stream of learning - new clients, new technologies, new processes, stretching my abilities and advancing my overall growth.  

We’re publishing this article in honor of International Women in Engineering Day and this year’s theme is Engineering Heroes. Who are some of the heroes who inspired you to pursue a career in STEAM?

My mother. She held down a professional career in a time when it was not the norm, cared for five children, a husband, various animals and ran the household. She showed me a woman could solve problems daily and do anything if she put her mind to it.  

When you think of engineers or engineering as a hero, what does that mean to you?

In my mind, engineering is more than a branch of science and technology, or the work done by a trained engineer; it is the everyday actions of people to solve problems and implement solutions in cost effective and practical ways. When I think of engineers or engineering heroes I think of everyday people working to make something happen, while creating their best life.   

If you aren’t working, what would we be most likely to find you doing?

I’m the type of person whose mind never seems to rest - my wheels are constantly turning, so my hobbies consist of activities that allow me to release tension, unwind and ultimately relax. I have always been active with running, cycling, weight training, yoga and most recently golf. Of all these hobbies, I find I use the yoga in my everyday life to find comfort and stillness which brings me great joy and peace.

Most interesting career moment?

My most motivating career moments all revolve around helping the team and/or individuals on the team achieve their goals establishing strong bonds with the team and winning over difficult customers. Every time I can help a team member achieve their goals or assist a client or mission to make a milestone that assists with the protection or our great country I am fulfilled.       

What would you rate a 10 out of 10?

The birth of my only child!  Watching her grow into a strong, confident, kind and successful woman has brought me great pride and joy. She is and continues to be my greatest accomplishment in life!  

Most proud career moment?

I have been through four acquisitions within the last nine years and each one has given me a new and different perspective. What I am the proudest of is that through each of these acquisitions, even though my position may have changed, my resilience, motivation and ability to adapt and learn never wavered. Change fosters and facilitates growth and I have grown a great deal in the last nine years.  

What advice would you give to young professionals?

Seek out your passions, try new things, challenge yourself, learn from your mistakes, be kind and continuously strive to build a life you not only live, but enjoy!

People would be surprised to know that I….

I am a country girl at heart. I grew up in rural upstate New York near the Finger Lakes and in my younger days was a bit of a tomboy.  

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?

I like being a part of a company that cares about its most valuable asset: Its people. Jacobs is a company where we don’t just talk about our values – we live them! When we say, We do things right. We challenge the accepted. We aim higher. We live inclusion. we mean it - and it is refreshing to work for a company that does so! 

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable.

We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

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