Working Mama Spotlight on Caroline Pflum
Where are you from: Northern Illinois by way of Bowling Green Ohio.
Where do you live now: Carmel
Education: BS Civil Engineering - Purdue University, MBA - Bowling Green University
Career: Project Manager for a natural gas company. I started out building gas stations for an oil company 10 years ago. Now I manage projects related to the construction, maintenance and integrity of natural gas pipelines throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Family life: I'm married to a wonderful man and we have 2 kids - a 3 year old girl and 8 month old boy. We also have a 12 year old black lab. My husband works in the oil industry also as a senior technician for a subsea robotics company - he essentially plays video games all day. With this job he goes offshore for work (like being deployed) for 4 weeks at a time, so he's home for 4 weeks then gone for 4 weeks, which means I'm like a single mom for 6 months out of the year.
Favorite Indy Eats: Danny Boy Brewery
Favorite family fun spot/activity: We have a great backyard
Favorite "me-time" activity: Sitting in the car listening to NPR
Best Mom Moment: The first time my 3 yo said thank you to someone who paid her a compliment without my asking "what do you say?"
Career Highlight(s): When my current supervisor sent me a message while on Maternity leave asking if I was planning on coming back and her response after I said yes - Thank goodness, we've missed you.
What you love about being a Hoosier? What you love about being a Boilermaker? FTFY :) While I have a hard time with the state's politics, there is just something that feels so right about being here - It's big enough to have what we need but small enough to feel connected to everyone.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grow up? Truck driver who played the trumpet and had blue hair (I know, SUPER random)
Where you want to be in 10 years? Still in Indy! Seriously though I'd love to retire early from engineering and do something like event planning and management
My biggest mistake: Switching companies because of an issue between me and my supervisor. Hindsight being what it is, had I taken a leave of absence for 6 mo he would have been gone.
Career/Parenting advice you would like to share with other working mamas: A couple things - find your village. I don't think I'd be able to be a part time single mom to 2 VERY spirited kiddos if it weren't for my local village. Our parents both live out of state so we can't rely on them, but our friends, that's where it's at. And secondly, be honest with your employer regarding your expectations and needs as a working mom. My supervisor knows that the hubs is gone for weeks at a time - she understands when I'm not super punctual (only so much you can do with a 3 yo, amiright?) and when I can't take business trips at the drop of a hat. Having that open communication has absolutely changed everything for the better - there is an understanding now of why things happen how they happen.
Connect with Caroline on LinkedIn.