58. Sue Carenbauer – Sr. Director of eCommerce Product Management & Technology, Giant Eagle

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“It is so important for women who are aspiring to have tech careers to see women who have successfully achieved that in order to break down the stereotypes and misconceptions about the industry.”

Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.

A typical day is high energy with lots of variety. My team builds many products and supports multiple work streams at any one time. So, on a typical day I jump between products, design reviews, planning sessions, demos and customer insight discussions. I also allow plenty of time for one-on-one meetings with my Team Members to ensure they have the information and support that they need to succeed.

How do you stay passionate in your career?

I keep learning. As cliché as it sounds, I truly love what I do and my team is equally invested. They teach me something every day. On top of that, it is a very exciting and disruptive time within the grocery industry. We are constantly being presented with new and interesting customer challenges that give us the chance to be innovative in our space.

Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?

I have a degree in Business Logistics and Supply Chain Management from Penn State. I started my career working in that field and was really enjoying it. An Application Development Director at my previous company asked me to join her team as a Business Analyst. While I didn’t have direct experience, she saw in me the skills necessary for a position in tech. That turned into the best learning experience of my career! I’ve since been back in operational roles and have again found my way back to tech.

Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?

MS Teams – Staying connected to all of the moving pieces in my area is critical.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the #womenintech community?

My favorite thing about being a woman in tech is that I have the opportunity to be an example for women who are hoping to break into the industry. We still have a lot of work to do to get to gender parity within the tech community, and I love playing a role in this crucial transition. I’ve also found it to be a strong and supportive community, which is inspiring.

If applicable, how have you given back to the WIT community?

I’m passionate about sharing my story. It is so important for women who are aspiring to have tech careers to see women who have successfully achieved that in order to break down the stereotypes and misconceptions about the industry.

What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?

Find what interests you and get after it. Working in tech has so many options and unique disciplines; it isn’t just coding. Within the industry, there is a need for a vast array of skills and abilities, so figure out what you love and never stop learning.

Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year. 

I recently proposed creating the role of Product Management to Giant Eagle. Since then, we’ve built a strong team that is working to align our business needs with the needs of our customers. It’s given us a much stronger forum to incorporate performance and analytics data into our process and to influence our priorities. I have several moments each month where I think, how did we work before we created the new organization structure? It’s been a great shift in how we work and is helping us push forward.

Favorite quote:

“This too shall pass.”

My mom used to say this all of the time in response to stressful or hard situations. But as I have gotten older, it has also served as a reminder to slow down and enjoy the great moments in life as they too will pass quickly.

CONNECT WITH SUE:

LinkedIn


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