Meet A GAWDA Edger: Kristen Gilgenbach

After graduating in May 2003 with a B.S. in engineering mechanics, Karen Gilgenbach had many job offers. Linde, however, offered more than a job. “They were supportive to someone new to the industry and had extensive training programs so I’d be able to learn a lot. Plus, they were very supportive of women engineers.” She found this to be often overlooked by companies.

Karen Gilgenbach is in her Milwaukee office at 5 a.m., answering e-mail, doing paperwork and preparing quotes. “I don’t want to sell something that’s incomplete.” By 7:30, she’s on the road visiting customers, advising on technical issues, and taking orders. A favorite part of her job is going to customer sites to help them make their processes better. As an outside sales rep, she visits hundreds of companies and sees just as many different processes.

“If I had taken an engineering job, I would have worked for one company and seen one set of processes.” Gilgenbach likes figuring things out and currently is working at getting her certified welding engineer credentials. She’d like to be a weld specialist who supports the sales staff in the technical field, and she’s learned that the most important thing is to really listen to her customers and understand what they’re asking. “Sometimes they are looking to go from A to B, and I can look at it and understand what Step C will be like.”

Gases and Welding Distributors Association