In January, we announced that Claudia Jaramillo, currently Jacobs Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, will succeed Kevin Berryman as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective August 14, 2023. Today, we’re getting to know Claudia — what drew her to Jacobs, what she’s passionate about and what she’s most excited about this year.
Hi, Claudia. You joined us in 2022 — how have your responsibilities changed since?
I’m excited to help drive the overall strategy and corporate development which is mainly mergers and acquisitions. Although I’ve only been here a short time, we recognized the importance IT plays in enabling our strategy, so the IT organization began reporting to me after a few months.
What drew you toward Jacobs?
I was drawn to the culture and collective power of our people across the globe. Every day, I see our people working according to our purpose and our values on many cool and impactful projects around the globe, helping to make the world more connected and more sustainable, with integrity and caring for people. That gives me a lot of energy.
What is your proudest moment at Jacobs so far?
I've already had many proud moments and so I’ll share a few. It was very exciting to be able to attend the Artemis I launch celebration in Florida last year and to see and hear first-hand how our teams helped make history.
Internally, the “Together We Win” conference brought together so many of our smart and engaging people, so I was proud to be part of that. And something everyone should be proud of is the diversity of our executive leadership team… it’s a strong reflection of our values and shows how everyone has the potential to lead — regardless of your background.
Looking at the year ahead, what do you hope to accomplish?
The next phase of our strategy — as we transition from ideation to execution. This year, I hope everyone finds at least one way to directly contribute to our strategy. With every one of us doing that, the impact of our winning strategy will be visible.
A year from now, what would you want to say about your leadership in 2023?
I hope to meet many more of our employees and spend time with both our teams and clients. So, I would like to be able to look back and reflect on the engaging discussions I've had with all of the new people I’ve met, and for them to know I was genuinely interested in supporting them and learning from them.
“My hope is that when people see me in this position — whether it is with our communities, our schools, our clients or our own teams at Jacobs — they think, “If she can do it, I can do it. If she is an engineer, I can be an engineer. If an engineer like her — a Latina engineer — can be an executive at a global company, why can’t I?””
Now, let’s get a little informal. What was the first job you ever had?
It was an internship as a Control Systems Engineer, working at an oil refinery. I was able to work hands-on with the equipment, alongside experienced technicians and engineers who mentored me.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I have lived in five countries (U.S., China, France, Spain and Colombia) and have traveled to nearly every continent for work — just missing Antarctica!
What’s the best advice you ever heard?
I have three favorites:
Be curious. Never stop learning or be afraid to try and fail.
Be yourself. Don’t let others define you or your goals.
Choose courage over comfort and what is right over what is fast and easy.
If you were to go to the moon, who would you take with you?
I would take my sister — she is my best friend. We can talk about everything and anything and laugh together all the time.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
I love to go for a walk while I listen to a podcast, ideally surrounded by nature, then some yoga or other exercise. If I’m near the sea, scuba diving is definitely on the list!
Walk us through your morning/evening routine.
I usually start my day with a short meditation. Then, I read the news to catch up on current events and global financial markets while I have a cup of my Colombian coffee. On weekdays, I usually exercise in the evening, but on weekends, I prefer to exercise first thing in the morning.
People would be surprised to know that I...
Taught myself English using tapes! I grew up in Colombia’s coffee-growing region.
My favorite food is…
I enjoy a wide variety of foods from around the world. If I had to choose only a few, I would probably pick burrata with prosciutto, ceviche, pad Thai and Texas-style BBQ with a big piece of slow-smoked brisket.
Lastly, what excites you most about the year ahead?
I am excited about quite a number of things. First, to meet many more of our employees and spend time with both our teams and clients. I am also excited about the opportunities we have ahead of us as we move onto the next phase of our strategy and focus on execution for our next level of growth and profitability. Finally, two things that are close to my heart: my role as the executive sponsor for our Enlace employee network and to promote women and girls in STEAM. I'm a huge believer in “representation matters” and my hope is that when people see me in this position — whether it is with our communities, our schools, our clients or our own teams at Jacobs — they think, “If she can do it, I can do it. If she is an engineer, I can be an engineer. If an engineer like her — a Latina engineer — can be an executive at a global company, why can’t I?”
About the interviewee
Claudia Jaramillo currently serves as Executive Vice President Strategy & Corporate Development at Jacobs and has been named the company’s next Chief Financial Officer, effective August 14, 2023. During her more than 20 years in the industry, she has held a variety of leadership and senior finance positions in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Before Jacobs, Claudia worked at Schlumberger, an S&P 500 company with operations in over 100 countries, most recently as Corporate Officer and Vice President Group Treasurer. Prior to that, she was the North America Controller and Global Controller of two product lines headquartered in Houston as well as the Northern Asia Controller in Beijing, where she led the finance organizations of all product lines operating in China and Japan.
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