By Katie Small

About the Author – Katie is a graduate of GE’s leadership development program and currently works as a Senior Product Marketing Manager at GE Aviation. She has a mechanical engineering degree from Colorado State University and MBA from Michigan State University, giving her a unique combination of technical marketing and engineering skills. This has allowed Katie to work in both fields extensively throughout her career.

I can’t believe it has been over 11 years since my time as an intern at Brendle Group. I clearly remember visiting dozens of K-12 schools in the Denver Public School district teaching students about water conservation and analyzing water-saving opportunities. I had so much fun measuring the flow rates of water fixtures with students and showing them the potential water savings through hardware upgrades. It was incredible to see two of my passions – sustainability and STEM education – come together as a nearly two-year internship project. Not only did the initiative uncover huge potential water savings for the district, it helped encourage a future generation of water conservationists!

Throughout my internship, I also had the chance to work for several great female leaders, one of whom is Judy Dorsey, President, and Principal Engineer. Judy exemplified authentic leadership. Whether it was through small details like using dry spaghetti instead of plastic straws as coffee stirrers in the breakroom or teaching us about the importance of delivering quality work to clients, she always led by example. Having exposure to this type of leader early in my career was instrumental in developing my leadership style.

Since interning at Brendle Group, my career has taken several twists and turns. Along the way, I’ve been able to leverage several of the skills developed during my internship. In my current role as a Product Marketing Manager in the aviation industry, I educate customers about technology advancements that make flying more sustainable. Many customers have committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 so understanding the path to get there is key. I’ve continued to promote STEM education and leaned on my experience teaching students about water conservation. Finally, working with a passionate and committed team was inspiring and continues to motivate me to this day.

Once again, wishing Brendle Group a happy anniversary and many more years of advancing sustainable solutions for everyone.