Spotlight on: Karissa Hall, Metrics and Reporting Specialist at Delta Airlines
Dr. Pamela McCauley and Transforming Your STEM Career are excited to introduce our Spotlight on Women in STEM series. In anticipation of her new book, Building the Future: An Introduction to Engineering for Teens Who Want to Change the World,Dr. McCauley interviewed several exemplary young engineers in a wide variety of disciplines to tell their stories and inspire others to explore the field.
Introducing Karissa Hall
Our first spotlight subject is Karissa Hall, a metrics and reporting specialist at Delta Airlines. The question that drives Karissa to pursue her passions is “how can I make this easier or faster?” From a young age, she strived for efficiency and was eventually introduced to civil engineering as she entered college at the University of Central Florida. After her first introduction to engineering class, however, she found that industrial engineering was the answer to her childhood questions. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and went on to earn a Master’s in Engineering Management.
In her current specialist position at Delta, she is constantly working to improve their reporting process. She collaborates with her team members to find new, live data sources and to pull and display crucial data faster.
Challenges and Rewards
While Karissa enjoys her work, she notes that it is not without its challenges. As we know, being a woman in a STEM career presents a unique set of hurdles to overcome. Most notably, she experiences some challenges as a woman in her position; she mentioned that her suggestions are sometimes overlooked until they’re brought up by a male counterpart.
However, Karissa ultimately finds her work rewarding. Her favorite part of her job is identifying and solving problems her department may not have even noticed. Her goal is to help her coworkers become more efficient in their everyday roles; by developing a new process improvement or organizing resources, she is able to constantly bring her company to new levels of efficiency so they can seek new opportunities for excellence.
Karissa loves seeing how her work directly impacts customers, as well. “When I first started working for Delta as a co-op, I was tasked with reviewing wire diagrams and making sure everything was properly connected for the In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system,” she said. “To be honest, it seemed to be boring work, but one day my boss asked me to test the IFE on a flight to Germany! That was the first time I went to Europe. Not only was I able to explore a European city but I was also able to see how the reviewing wire diagrams at the office brings peace, solace, and entertainment to Delta customers on long haul flights. It was such a rewarding experience and gave me energy and excitement when reviewing other wire diagrams.”
Advice for the Next Generation of Industrial Engineers
Karissa offers a few wise words for anyone entering industrial engineering; first and foremost, she encourages new engineers to seek out others in their field. “It may seem tough at times but you find solace in talking to someone who’s been through what you’re going for,” she says. Additionally, she urges engineers to continue seeking avenues for process improvement. Even if you don’t land in a role that is specifically an industrial engineering role, every role has a process that can be optimized for efficiency.
We appreciate the time Karissa spent with us and the opportunity to encourage teenagers to explore the world of engineering! If you’re a woman engineer with a story to share, follow Transforming Your STEM Career on Facebook, or click here to contact Dr. McCauley.