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Meet Jillian: An ITW Engineer Igniting Her Full Potential

“The best thing about my internship at ITW was seeing the results from my projects come to life. I was given projects that directly impacted the bottom line, and I was able to see the results of my work in reality.” – Jillian Economy, Quality Engineer at ITW Construction Products – Global Tool Unit

For Jillian Economy, Quality Engineer at ITW Construction Products – Global Tool Unit, the decision to transition from intern to full-time employee at ITW was a simple one. As an intern, Jillian identified ITW as a place where she could pursue her passions, work in multiple functions and businesses, and develop into a future ITW leader. Jillian has recently been recognized by her alma mater and received the Outstanding Young Achievement Award, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Chicago.

How did you find ITW?

I first learned of ITW when I was in high school and attended a luncheon that was hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago's chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. The luncheon was for students who had been accepted to UIC's College of Engineering, and it was sponsored by ITW. At this luncheon, ITW’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion spoke about the company, its products and all the opportunities that a young woman in STEM could pursue. After attending that event, I knew that I wanted to study engineering at UIC and work at ITW one day.

Today, I am the Quality Engineer at the Global Tool Unit in Libertyville, Illinois, where we produce nailers for the global Construction Products segment. My primary responsibilities include managing our ISO program and leading process-improvement projects to improve system quality.

As an intern who accepted a full-time position, why did you choose ITW?

I chose to work full time for ITW after my internship, because ITW’s values strongly align with my own. ITW values the idea of continuous improvement, and I believe in constant learning, growing and always improving systems to the best they can be.

What was the best thing about your internship at ITW?

The best thing about my internship at ITW was seeing the results from my projects come to life. As an intern, you wonder if you are going to be doing work that actually makes an impact on the business. At ITW, I was given projects that directly impacted the bottom line, and I was able to see the results of my work in reality.

What makes ITW a great place to work?

I think one of the things that makes ITW a great place to work is our diversity. As an intern, I had the opportunity to learn from both high-potential, early-in-career individuals as well as from seasoned leaders in the company. I have learned so much professionally from being surrounded by coworkers who are all at different stages of their careers.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting their career at ITW?

The best advice I can give to someone who is starting their career at ITW is to remain open to all possibilities! Never close yourself off to an opportunity. Sometimes when you least expect it, a new opportunity can be career-changing for you. After I started full time at ITW, I worked in Marketing and Finance before finally landing in Engineering, and each experience was instrumental to my professional development. 

Tell me about your involvement with the ITW Women’s Network and why it is meaningful to you.

I joined the ITW Women’s Network (IWN) Northshore leadership team in 2018 as an Ambassador Co-Chair. I am forever grateful to be involved in this organization, because I was recruited through IWN. IWN was a massive reason why I decided to stay at ITW full time, and it's been instrumental in my career development thus far. This leadership position has given me the chance to develop my managerial skills and be a leader of a team of women who are much farther along in their careers than I am — something that many early-in-career individuals don't always have the opportunity to do in their everyday roles. IWN is also highly involved in outreach programs for high school and college students. As a student, I really valued when working professionals, which I could see myself become one day, would speak at events and offer their contact info, and through IWN, I am able to do that for a whole new generation of future leaders.

Why is ITW a great place to work?

ITW is a great place to work because the opportunities for career growth and development are unlimited. You can work in seven different industries, in over 80 different businesses and all over the world. You can move between departments and functions and will be constantly challenged, developed and supported by the company.

The people who work at ITW have also been incredibly supportive. At every step of the way during my career here, there have always been people eager to help me grow. People genuinely care about each other at ITW.

Why are you proud to work at ITW?

I am proud to see the impact that I am able to make through my work at ITW. At ITW, we have close relationships with our customers, and we are given all of the tools we need to design products that make an impact for them. As both an intern and full-time employee, I have been empowered to directly solve our customers’ problems and have been given projects that truly make a difference in the business. It is really fulfilling to see the work that I do directly benefit our customers and drive results for the company.

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