Meet Karen! Executive Director, Financial Operations of Comcast

 

What do you do for work and what do you love about it and what is most challenging?

My team is responsible for managing and reporting Comcast Cable Division’s Capex (Capital Expenditures).  In addition, we provide oversight, governance and support of the Oracle Projects module.  What I love about my job is that there is always something new and interesting going on!  I appreciate the many opportunities I have to partner with other areas of the business, both at Headquarters and Divisions, to integrate new businesses or improve a process in place. Most of the projects that I am involved in are enterprise wide and require the participation of multiple functional areas.  It’s so awesome to partner with such talented and knowledgeable people while working together to make a difference.  However, due to the many stakeholders impacted by proposed changes, it can be challenging to keep everyone engaged and the momentum going when there are always so many competing priorities.


How have other women inspired you or helped shape your career?

When I was just starting out, I didn’t see how I could possibly work full time, finish my education and start a family. I also thought that if I excelled in one area (my career or being a mom), then the other would be neglected.  However,  I have learned from watching and talking to successful women that this is simply not true. I was fortunate to have learned about and joined WICT my first year at Comcast 18 years ago and that membership has provided the platform I needed to learn about and meet those successful women during speaker and networking events. I have learned that I don’t have to give 100% to everything/everyone 100% of the time. I have also learned that it’s important to surround myself with a good support system whether that be family members, friends or co-workers who have my back.  It’s OK to work long hours during crunch time.  It’s Ok to leave early to get to my son’s baseball game.  It’s also OK to bring store bought cupcakes to my son’s school Halloween party.  I don’t have to be perfect.

I love the analogy of a successful woman climbing the corporate ladder. She has one arm stretching up to get to the next level but she also has the other arm stretched out behind her, as if to pull other women up.   I think it is so important to elevate others along with you


 What is your favorite TV show and/or movie?

My current favorite TV shows are Manifest and The Good Doctor.  My guilty pleasure is also watching the Hallmark channel especially during Christmas time. They all have the same plot and the same actors and I can usually guess the ending in the first 10 minutes, but I love them anyway.

One of my favorite movies is League of their Own which is a fictional story based on the real-life All American Girls Professional Baseball team that was formed in 1943 while the men were away at war.  It’s captivating, funny, sad and inspiring.  All around great movie and with one my favorite actors, Tom Hanks. There’s no crying in baseball!


What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I have an adult daughter with Autism (Asperger’s syndrome).  She seemed to develop normally at first but then regressed quickly around her 2nd birthday. It was devastating to learn her diagnosis but at the same time, it opened doors to various supports available to her.  Raising a child with autism is very challenging but I was fortunate to have my parents and husband (my support system)  help care for her while I finished earning my college degree at night while working full time.  Despite her challenges, she has learned how to drive and currently attends a private regular education college and is expected to earn her bachelor’s degree in Accounting next year. I am very proud of her!


What’s your role with WICT? What did you enjoy most about that role?

I have been a WICT member for 18 years and served on the Philly board for 5 years in Regional outreach where I would plan events for the Philadelphia suburb locations.  I really enjoyed working with the board to plan the event format and reaching out to senior leaders to ask them to participate. After the events were over, I loved hearing the positive feedback and what members have learned to help them to be successful in their own careers.  I hope to help the board plan another event in the Oaks PA area soon!


Why do you think WICT is important?

I don’t think people, especially non-members, realize all the amazing benefits of being a WICT member.  Members are exposed to relevant real world issues that most women face and are given opportunities to learn how to overcome challenges from hearing speakers at WICT events.  There are so many incredible leaders (both women and men) who see the value in giving their time to plan and attend WICT events to help members learn and grow their careers. Take advantage of these opportunities as often as you can!  Personally, I have attended many speaker series events, WICT Philly gives back, Executive Development Series, and most recently, the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and BMGI.  The training and fellowship I have received from attending these trainings and events over the years have really made a positive impact to my life and career and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity.