“Although I’m still early in my career, I have led projects that have an impact and drive value for both my team and the organization. It inspires me to come to work every day.” – Joe Kesseler, former ITW intern and current Sourcing Specialist
Joe Kesseler, former ITW intern, accepted a full-time role after graduation. He felt empowered to lead his own projects during his strategic sourcing internship and wanted to continue making an impact on ITW’s sourcing team and as a leader in ITW’s Young Professionals Network.
What has your career journey been with ITW?
I started my career at ITW as a strategic sourcing intern. At the conclusion of my internship, I was hired into a full-time position with the corporate sourcing team. Most recently, I received another opportunity to work within the Test & Measurement and Electronics segment as a Sourcing Specialist.
A day in my current role varies quite a bit depending on business needs; however, my main priorities include managing indirect materials and logistics categories, coordinating with division stakeholders to deliver value through sourcing initiatives, and interfacing with ITW finance teams to ensure alignment.
Another very exciting aspect of my job is the opportunity to travel and meet with team members internationally. My role would generally involve traveling about two to three times per month, and I am excited to continue travel once it is safe to do so.
What made you choose to work at ITW after your internship?
As an ITW intern, I was given interesting and exciting projects. I felt like I could really see the value in the work I was doing and what I was learning. My team allowed me to fully take the lead on some of our projects while I was interning. Through that experience, I could tell that they truly valued its employees and valued me.
The support from my team and manager was also core to why I chose ITW. My manager helped me put together a plan for my own development, so I can see what my career path could look like a few years down the road. Additionally, when questions arose, I felt comfortable reaching out to anybody within our department to get feedback. I wanted to continue coming to work every day in a place where I felt comfortable and supported to expand my skills, so I decided to accept a full-time offer after my internship.
What was the best part of your internship?
The best part of my internship was meeting so many people in different parts of the company. I was able to work with cross-functional teams in the sourcing, audit and finance departments, which gave me a lot of exposure. I enjoyed getting to learn about other roles in the company and how they work together to drive value. I was also encouraged to start building my professional network as an intern, and it is something I continue to do at ITW today.
Tell me about your involvement with ITW’s Young Professionals Network (YPN). Why is it meaningful to you?
When I was an intern, I attended many YPN events and made important connections with fellow interns, current ITW employees and leadership. Through this network, I had the opportunity to join the YPN Chicago leadership team as the Community Outreach Chair. With YPN, I work to coordinate participation in the Greater Chicago Area and create volunteer opportunities within our communities. Service has always been a vital part of my education, and ITW’s commitment to our community further demonstrates the values of the organization.
Working with the YPN leadership team has been an amazing experience, and I highly recommend participating in Employee Resource Groups when joining ITW.
What is unique about ITW’s culture and values?
I think ITW’s values are central to the company. Two of our values that have empowered me are Trust and Shared Risk. When I have started projects at ITW, my managers and team truly trust me with impactful and critical work, and we all take responsibility for how the project turns out.
ITW’s decentralized, entrepreneurial culture is also unique and powerful. Our culture empowers you to be autonomous and to act quickly on opportunities. Employees are truly encouraged to take ownership and lead projects, even as an intern or early-in-career employee.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career at ITW?
The best advice I can give to someone starting as an intern at ITW is to take control of your career. Do a great job in your role, get involved with Employee Resource Groups, be inquisitive and connect with colleagues in other segments and businesses. These conversations and relationships will help you understand what opportunities are available and what your career path may look like. If you’re starting an internship, discuss with your manager what opportunities and experiences you are hoping to have, so that you can tailor your experience to your interests.
Why are you proud to work for ITW?
I am proud to work for ITW because of the impact I make at work, even while still being so early in my career. I have led projects that drive value for both my team and the organization, and it inspires me to come to work every day.
I am also proud to work with so many incredible people at ITW. I would describe my colleagues as very genuine, caring and down-to-earth. I have had so many people at ITW genuinely interested in helping me reach my full potential through teaching, trusting and empowering me to make a difference within this great company.