Career Advice From Jill Albertelli

April 01, 2015

Jillal Bertelli

We chatted with Jill Albertelli -- don't miss her session at the Simmons Leadership Conference!

As Vice President of Pratt & Whitney's NGPF—30K Programs, Jill Albertelli is responsible for the development and certification of the PurePower PW1100G-JM and PW1400G engines, as well as their successful entry into service.

What woman do you most admire? What has she taught you?

My mother. She taught me and my three sisters that we could do anything and be anything that we wanted to be. We grew up not knowing that there were “different types of jobs” that men typically did, vs. women. She taught “goodness” – honesty, integrity, compassion and much more. One favorite saying that she used was “cowards lie.” I cannot tell you how many times in my life this expression rang true. She also taught me to be fearless -- although she is afraid of the dark and swimming, neither of which bother me.

What would you say is the most "daring" move you've made in your career? What did you learn from that experience? 

Before I left for family leave, I asked to be moved to a new role – I had a large one, running a factory. I was far more unsure of what having a child would be like vs. being the boss of an engine overhaul center. I also didn’t want to leave the site without a leader for a few months. So I switched jobs to come back to a new role in the company when I returned. I learned that for me, it paid to “do the right thing” for the business.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve gotten along the way? 

Just do it. Don’t stay in a job that you don’t like and don’t expect to get “everything” done before you leave that role. Continue to raise the bar – and don’t wait long to get rid of the “drainers.”

How do you think women can support other women on their path to success?

Take a chance on talented women in an area of the business that is new to them. They will want to be there and will want to show that they can do well. In turn, they will attract other women and become role models. Women like to have both men and other women to relate to and look up to. Don’t be a queen bee. I found out what that meant the hard way…best quote ever – “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” (Madeline Albright).

Any tips for work/life integration? 

Realize that it is all one – making it work requires more than just you! Support systems (of any kind) are needed in life and in work. Make time for your families and don’t forget about making time for yourself! Then, support men and women with work/life – it impacts us all!

If you could dine with anyone, past or present, with whom would you dine and what would you like to ask him or her? 

I would dine with my father. He recently passed but has suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last ten years. I miss him tremendously of course, but I would really like to get his feedback on everything in life as I used to do. I would also like to know more about the disease from his perspective since there is little progress on finding a cure or a way to stabilize Alzheimer’s.

What was the last book you read? 

The Selection. We were just on a family vacation and it was what my 14-year-old daughter just read. When I was just a few pages into the story, I laughed and said to her, “what is this? A cross between Divergent and the Bachelor?” Her answer set me back a bit. She said it was about social classes, futuristic distressed times of war, love, manipulation and how important it is to just be yourself. With that, I’m now on the second book in the series! She also got me to read Outliers last year…

Fill in the blank: People would be surprised to know that I ______ 

was an extremely shy person growing up. My family could tell stories of how I wouldn’t ask a question of the clerk in a store, even as a young teenager. I would hide when people came to the house to visit.