Kristina Lynn Mann
Senior Director, Persistent Memory Products, Intel Corporation
Always remember to ask why, keep your mind open to all possibilities.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a new technology manager, chartered with developing compelling new products and solutions, bringing them to market, and then educating customers about how they can benefit. Our job is to bridge the gap between customers and engineering in order to establish new innovations as a core element of business compute infrastructure.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
Unlike many other women in engineering, I did not have a clear vision of who I would be when I grew up. I always did well in school and I enjoyed everything that I did. I had a father that believed I could do anything, a mother who worked full time and expected excellence in all things, and the ability to learn.
So, in my senior year of high school I won a bridge building contest in my physics class and decided I wanted to design roller coasters or bridges. I headed down the path of civil engineering to become the best roller coaster designer the world had ever seen. Then reality hit! I hated my classes, felt like I was designing from a cook book, and really wasn't feeling the hard hat, sewer and sanitation planning, and road design.
So in truth, I pretty much stumbled into Mechanical Engineering through a process of elimination, preference for classes, and gentle nudges from the university guidance counselors. But once there, I started gravitating towards new technologies, business models, and creative solutions to real problems. I realized I was a product person at heart and that I had a unique ability to match creative new solutions to customer pain points.
A good product manager for a disruptive new technology can have incredible influence on the success of a new product in the market.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish younger me would have known that I would be able to lead teams of people in creating new technologies that change the world. I was afraid of being too smart, or too nerdy, too boring. Now, it is ok to be smart and it is valued in my career!
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love solving customers' tough problems and finding ways to make the perceived impossible possible.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Don't let social pressures or naysayers diminish your natural curiosity and enthusiasm. Always remember to ask why keep your mind open to all possibilities. Eventually you will find a way.
INSPO / FUN FACT
“Be curious, not judgmental.” - Walt Whitman