Katelyn Crist, a Jabil Design Engineer in St. Petersburg, has a fresh outlook on life and a passion for innovation. One of Jabil’s young females in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), she represents our diverse female talent.
According to Katelyn, her interest in a career in the STEM field began at a very early age, when she knew she wanted to do something math-related. “My mom started doing basic multiplication tables with me in the car by age five,” said Crist.
“I went to a special magnet program in middle school that accelerated my math education and solidified my aptitude for it. It wasn’t until taking her first physics class in high school, that she became fascinated with how the world works and the ways that math could be applied to explain it – this was the moment she knew she wanted to be an engineer.
After high school, Crist attended the University of South Florida as an Environmental Engineering major, but eventually decided she was most interested in Industrial Engineering.
Career at Jabil
In May of 2013, her junior year of college, Crist took an internship with Jabil’s Design Services group working with the Value Engineering team. After working on a summer project for Jabil as an intern, the team decided to keep her on after the project was completed, and she ended up staying with the group for a year and a half.
After graduating college in the summer of 2014, Crist accepted an offer as an Industrial Engineering Technician at Jabil Defense and Aerospace in St. Petersburg, and was promoted to Industrial Engineer within her first year. After two years, she decided to move back to the Design Services Group to work as a Design Engineer, a career she says allows her to constantly think critically about design.
“The people I work with are very experienced and are excellent at helping me look at the job in front of me from a different perspective,” said Crist. “I love that I can exercise my brain.”
An active member of the community, Crist recently represented Jabil and our commitment to education when she read to three classes during the Great American Read In activity at Bardmoor Elementary.
“I was so happy to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when I started reading. For them, it was a change of pace and a little bit of excitement in the middle of their daily routine,” said Crist. “For me, it was nostalgic because I got to read alongside my mother, who is a teacher there.”
Crist said it’s important to support the education of children in our communities because they’ll be the decision-makers one day. In her words, she’s “thankful to be with a company that places such a high value not only on education, but on our community as a whole.”
Crist considers mentorship critical and has mentors both within and outside of Jabil, who have played a significant role in helping her make the best decisions for her career and life. She also serves as mentor to a student at Lakewood High School as part of the Jabil Cares initiative. Among other things, she helps her mentee understand how to set goals and how to break them up into smaller, digestible, tasks to make achieving those goals easier.
Crist enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising and playing guitar. “When I have a little more free time, I love to play guitar and sing,” said Crist. “I have been playing for over a decade and it is one of the most expressive things I do.”
As for role models, she say’s she doesn’t have one specific role model that influenced her throughout her journey. Instead, she credits a family full of strong women for encouraging her to follow her dreams and instilling her with the hardworking values needed to set and achieve goals. “Especially my mom. She was a single mother who worked two jobs to support me. She pushed herself to go back to school to pursue a career in education all while working full-time and raising me,” said Crist. “She wanted to show me that you can do anything you set your mind to.”
Whether she’s focusing on her career or helping others realize opportunities, she says that working at Jabil has enabled her to constantly feel challenged, supported and encouraged to grow, in and outside of work.