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Karen Lyons, Director of Field Services for Ireland at Schneider Electric.
1.) How would you describe yourself both professionally and personally?
From a professional perspective I am very focussed on customer satisfaction and enjoy achieving targets, especially in a team environment. Ultimately my engineering background always comes through in that I feel most satisfied when something gets “fixed”. In my personal life I am far more relaxed and like to have a contrast to my busy work environment.
2.) Regarding the area you work in, what are some overall challenges, changes or opportunities occurring?
It is a time of great change and opportunity in the energy industry, with digital transformation driving new customer and technical requirements. I am proud to work for a company that’s embracing and leading in this changing world. One of the main challenges in my work, like any customer service environment, is the unpredictable nature of any day, but its means its never boring!
3.) What do you do on a daily basis for your job? What skills are predominantly needed for this?
My role is Director of Services for Ireland and in a nutshell this means I lead a team who are highly skilled in both delivering and selling customer services solutions across the broad Schneider Electric portfolio. There are multiple skills and experience needed to lead and transform in this varied environment but if I was to highlight a top three I would say – customer focus, people leadership and change management.
4.) How does your work contribute to the organisation’s bigger picture and direction?
Services is hugely important to Schneider Electrics bigger picture and direction, from a strategic perspective it is one of the main pillars highlighted for future growth. Given that all customer engagement after the original product or solution sale is with the services team, we are a hugely important part of our client engagement and enabler of follow on business.
5.) What is one of the most challenging aspects about your role? Also, what parts of your role do you like the best?
One of the most challenging aspects of my role, like any customer service environment, is the unpredictable nature of any day. My team supports critical systems in energy sensitive environments for example huge data centres and state of the art pharmaceutical plants so the ability to be able to react at speed and with competence to emergency situations is key. I really enjoy the variety and never knowing what the day can bring, responding effectively to solve a customer critical issue provides great job satisfaction.
6.) For women looking to apply for jobs with your organisation, can you advise them what skills and qualities tend to be most valued there?
The ability to collaborate across teams to deliver solutions and results is key, as well as a customer oriented mind set.
7.) Can you describe the work culture there?
There is a great team spirit, in such a dynamic environment things would not function well if people were too individually driven. People in the team support each other to deliver the best customer outcome. They work hard, but can play hard too, a Schneider Electric night out is always a good one!
8.) What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever had, or would like to share from your own perspective?
The best career advice I have been given is always try to make your mark as someone who can be relied on to get things done. Put your hand up to volunteer to take on tasks but if you do this always deliver on your commitments and you build trust both internally and with customers.
9.) What outside interests might you have?
Most of my time outside work is spent with my family , both my kids play a lot of sports so I spend a lot of time on the side-line cheering them on. To relax I enjoy swimming and listening to music