To say Gina Guo has a wide array of interests an understatement. In addition to her role as excavator machine service engineer, she’s the vice chair for the Caterpillar Chinese Resource Group. Mother. Wife.? College language teacher. Professionally trained pianist. Singer for the Peoria Symphony and Caterpillar Employee Chorus. STEM mentor.? Amateur bodybuilder and kickboxer. Woodworker.
Pursuing her many passions gives Gina energy and adds meaning to her work.
“I ask myself: ‘How can I contribute to society with the things I’m good at, with my specialties and passion?’ said Gina. “Ultimately, I believe we can all leave a legacy with our expertise and make a positive impact on our workplace and communities.”
While at first glance her interests may seem disparate, Gina sees the connections: music demands iterative practice and refinement to reach perfection, just as engineering relies on iterative testing and optimization. Rehabbing furniture is just another form of creative problem solving. Leading the Chinese Employee Resource Group and teaching students at Illinois Central College about Chinese culture and language is a way to spread understanding and deepen relationships, much like she does in her role with product support.
Gina participates in diversity and inclusion initiatives because she believes greater results can be reached when we respect the experiences that drive one another’s thought process.
“Ultimately diversity is not only about where you come from, how you grew up, how you look or what your profession is,” Gina said. “It’s also about how you think and perceive things in a different way – and to really appreciate different perspectives.”
Gina calls this “perspective taking” and she uses it in her daily work. When she goes to the field to talk to customers, operators and dealers, she has to understand their concerns in order to deliver the right solution. Her team’s own diversity helps its members successfully relate with customers.
“We solve problems – and not just engineering problems,” said Gina. “It requires you to have different experiences and cultural backgrounds, as well as different preferences and expertise. Bringing each perspective is very critical.”
“At the end of the day, it’s a very rewarding career to know that your effort as an individual can really make a difference for the customer experience.”
Gina stresses that despite the product team’s varied backgrounds, they remain focused on a common goal. It is always the idea that her efforts support a greater mission that inspires Gina the most.
“The sense of social responsibility and ownership are important to me both at work and outside of work,” she said. “That is why I am a big advocate for Caterpillar. Even though we may not feel the direct connection all the time, our work can make the world a better place.”