How She Got There: Lisa Drake, Chief Engineer at Lincoln

lincoln vehicle lisa drakeHC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable? 
LD: The best advice I was given: "People come to work to do a great job.  So if they aren't doing a great job, it's not because they don't want to.  Take the time to help them find solutions that allow them to work and to be their best.  It's the best time you'll spend."

HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it? 
LD: I would say that I have learned to "trust, but verify."  There are many intelligent and bright individuals who believe they are giving you the information that you need.  Sometimes, due to lack of clarity on the question or just miscommunication, it's not always exactly the “correct” information. So I have learned to trust their information, but to ask questions about it to verify that it's robust, sound, and based appropriately on facts not judgment. 
HC: What is the best part of your job? 
LD: I love that no matter whom I talk to at Lincoln; somehow we can always get back around to a story about a car.  Whether it's their first car, the car their parents had, or a story about a great trip in a car, people always have a car story.  Cars help make people's lives grander–they take us to places we want to see, protect us from things at times, and allow us to express ourselves through the choices of car colors/sizes/styles/brands. I couldn't image working for any other industry.
HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone? 
LD: I look for someone with a quiet confidence about him or her. Someone who is willing to put in the hard work to do the right thing for the customer, someone who is more concerned about that than what their next promotion or corporate move would be, and someone who is honest and willing to tell the tough story in an unemotional way.
HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?  
LD: I would just remind everyone to stay true to you and be yourself.  Whether it's in an interview or once you've landed the job and are starting in your company. You'll do and be your best if you don't have to “check your personality” at the door when you come to work. Your personality, work ethic, and view on life and tackle of challenges have gotten you this far (high school, college, in the interview process). Don't assume that you need to change your strategy to move on–just keep doing the great work and being a great person. 

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Gennifer is the Branded Content Specialist for Her Campus Media. In her role, she manages all sponsored content across platforms including editorial, social, and newsletters. As one of HC's first-ever writers, she previously wrote about career, college life, and more as a national writer during her time at Hofstra University. She also helped launch the How She Got There section, where she interviewed inspiring women in various industries. She lives in New York City.