Jan Hilbi

Jan Hilbi

Cheshire Learning
Portland, OR, United States
Jan Hilbi
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Jan Hilbi is CFS of Cheshire Learning, a small, totally woman owned consulting firm specializing in turning challenged organizations into well run, profitable companies. Cheshire Learning finds the hidden potential in every organization and works to ensure that supporting behaviors are discussed and implemented. As part of the cultural change management process, she coaches, mentors and supports leaders by enhancing their strategic decision making capabilities while they gain the personal mastery needed to survive and thrive in chaotic times. Another aspect of Cheshire Learning is education and training. As an adjunct faculty member with three universities, Jan teaches a variety of business, leadership and project management courses to graduate students. She also delivers an assortment of professional development seminars that target the business community. Her key clients includes the Army Corps of Engineers, Adidas, Mainlander Property Management, Gift Tree, Learning Tree International, WonderLabs, The Best of Oregon, and the Free Masons. For more than three decades Jan held a variety of federal government and corporate positions. While working with the Dept. of Defense (Navy) and the Dept. of Transportation (FAA), she was involved with electrical engineering. This led to fiber optics work with AT&T. Jan eventually became recognized as an expert in fiber optics transport systems with a primary focus on processor logic. Working with AT&T and Bell Labs, she managed web enabled process automation teams, assessed organizational effectiveness on a global scale, and coached domestic and international training organizations across multiple business disciplines. Her portfolio consisted of several international joint ventures and multi-country consortiums. Much of her work involves improving organizations through process improvement and organizational assessments. Inherent organizational improvements are change and implementation management issues. This is especially true when we consider the cross-cultural challenges present in all global ventures. Jan was also responsible for training and coaching staff, helping to ensure a smooth transition. In 2000, Jan co-authored the paper, New Paradigms in Process Automation, which was presented at the AE2000 Engineering Symposium in Paris, France. The paper focused on the critical importance of customer involvement as part of successful project management. In 2001, she was inducted into the National Association of Engineers, Women in Engineering Hall of Fame for her work in project management. Jan’s belief in continuous learning is apparent: she holds a Master’s of Science in Project Management (MSPM), an MBA and has done work towards her Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Change. Jan is also a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a certified Workplace Conflict Mediation coach and consultant. Her goal is to share knowledge and experience with others, and to learn through the exchange.

Answers by Jan Hilbi

Hi Fiona, What an exciting time for you! There is a tremendous need for creativity in engineering, so your talents will be put to good use. An area of engineering that comes quickly to mind: biomedical/neural engineering. This encompasses a broad spectrum in engineering; artificial intelligence, robotics, the development of medical devices and considerably more. The medical engineering field in general, offers great potential for an inventive mind. Maybe the environment is your passion. You might want to consider Environmental engineering or Ocean engineering. But then nanotechnology is also fascinating... All of these fields offer cutting edge opportunities that require using your imagination to create a vision of tomorrow. The same can be said for both electrical and mechanical engineering - they work hand-in-hand with all of the engineering disciplines listed. One place to explore options is Wikipedia. They have a great list of engineering disciplines and sub-disciplines with decent descriptions. The trick is to find your passion and then identify the field of engineering that will let you play while you create solutions. If the work you do is fun, your creative energies will help you produce interesting and inventive solutions. Good luck with your studies, let us know how you do! Cheers! Jan