The life of a global technology leader

December 11, 2020 |
Contributed by Izabela Szydlo, DeGroote Writer

Kristen McDonald

Environmental data solutions

Kristen McDonald is no stranger to cutting-edge technology as an environmental data solutions expert with over 23 years of environmental engineering consulting industry experience. So, when digital transformation began to increasingly disrupt all industries, she saw it as an opportunity to stay relevant and help her company through the disruption. To do so, McDonald turned to DeGroote’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program — whose students specialize in digital transformation.

McDonald is a robotic process automation global technology leader at Jacobs. Jacobs provides technical, professional, and construction services as well as scientific and specialty consulting.

Innovative and emerging technologies are helping to streamline business operations while helping to differentiate you from competitors. It’s important to stay up-to-date, so your business doesn’t fall behind or miss opportunities. No other business school is offering this type of program. It’s innovative and industry-relevant.

In her role, McDonald advances solutions that respond to the need for increased process efficiency. She does this by developing digital solutions, tools, and processes that enable the future of work. McDonald creates automated workflows connecting devices to systems for process automation, data capture, data extraction and analytics, and predictive asset management.

Building a more connected, sustainable world with an EMBA

“It’s time to think differently about the future and to strive for a more connected, sustainable world,” she says. “Emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, digital twins, automation and data analytics, and using business intelligence to make strategic decisions is where transformation is heading. Data is the new oil and exploring each of these is the future to optimization.”

While McDonald has always been a digital transformation leader, she says the EMBA has helped her to become more authentic in her role. Since graduating in September, she’s been confidently encouraging people to challenge the status quo and build an ecosystem and culture to drive innovation. It’s a role that also allows her to mentor fellow women techies.

“Industry research shows that highly innovative and successful teams are diverse individuals, but there continues to be a lack of female representation in the tech industry,” McDonald says. “We have a lot of work to do on this front. It starts with everyone stepping up and not just making statements about wanting to be more inclusive and diverse but putting those statements into tangible actions. It is my passion to be a role model and mentor, to let young female professionals know they have a voice and have many opportunities before them.”

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