MEM Alum of the Month: Jackie Palmer


Jackie Palmer who recently graduated from the MEM program last December currently serves as a Technical Service Process Engineer for Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars Inc. In her role she represents Research & Development at the factory as “single point of contact” and serves as a technical liaison between New Product Development and Supply Chain/Operations.  Her daily duties include coordinating and executing factory trials for the site and providing technical support in gum/confection science, statistical process control, problem solving, and continuous improvement.

Outside of the obvious perk of making candy for a living, Jackie mentions what she likes most about her job. “Working with products that are so well known and loved by everyone gives me a lot of satisfaction. At my site I currently work on Skittles, Altoids, Hubba Bubba, and the Wrigley Heritage Brands (Freedent, Juicy Fruit, Big Red, Doublemint etc.).  My job is all about launching new products to delight our customers, and maintaining the products that they already know and love.”

In addition to working with products that are close to the consumer chain, she enjoys fostering a relationship between Research and Development and Supply Chain. She enjoys the challenge of molding the entirely new role for the company and balancing breakthrough innovations with manufacturability.

palmer.pngWhen asked about how the MEM program contributed to her career growth, Jackie had the following to say: “Throughout the MEM program there is a key theme in many classes called differentiation.  You’ll learn that differentiation is the key to Innovation and business success, and the same can be said for personal success.  The MEM program has given me a differentiated skill set in business and leadership that complements my engineering technical skills, and there is no limit to how it will help me grow my career in the future long term. In the shorter term, the MEM Program has given me a broad well rounded perspective that helps me achieve better leadership every day.  My job requires influence and leadership without authority which is harder to sometimes manage than when you are given the authority by title.  I have gained confidence and business acumen that has allowed me to branch into a new role with the business and actually feel comfortable negotiating for my salary.  It feels great to actually understand the financial business results reported every quarter, and to be able to speak intelligently with other leaders and challenge them to think outside the box.”

Outside of work, Jackie stays on her toes with hobbies such as ballroom dancing, especially Salsa and Waltz. She also is an avid equestrian in show jumping.

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