Featured Alum

Abby Horvath

Army: MEDEVAC Pilot
 Johnson & Johnson Inc.
Position: Manufacturing Manager
Education: Slippery Rock University, Psychology

Your career path to your current role:

August 19, 2013 was my first day as Operations Supervisor (Level 25 paygrade)

  • Responsible for 5 people, on shift with the team (2 weeks days, 2 weeks nights, 12 hour shifts working every other weekend.
  • I learned the chemical process for oxidizing medical device material used in invasive surgeries and worked alongside my team.
  • I took over plant scheduling and re-vamped their inventory process of material that needed to be disposed of.

October 2015 I joined the Johnson & Johnson Production System (JJPS) which is similar to the Toyota Lean process.

  • Oct 2015-April 2016 JJPS Pull-Forward
    • Travelled to PA
  • April 2016-November 2016 JJPS Manufacturing Workstream Lead
  • November 2016-June 2017 JJPS Site Lead
    • Opportunity to work internationally and travelled to Ireland, Belgium and New Jersey supporting a Global initiative for JJPS
  • June 2017-November 2017 JJPS Support (Project Lead and Mentor to process)
    • My responsibilities continued to grow but I continued to stay in a level 25 position. The lack of promotion was discouraging but I was actively demonstrating my ability to lead cross-functionally.
    • I used this time to learn more about project management, lean processes and the financial aspect of the company

November 2017-March 2018 GROW assignment as Business Excellence Manager

  • I was still a Level 25 but now working as a peer to the Senior Leaders of a sister company within J&J
  • I was covering down the manager position while the acting manager was on maternity leave
  • This gave me critical visibility and I was able to demonstrate the depth and width of my leadership ability from my time in the Army

March 2018-Present: Manufacturing Manager (Level 30 new level of leadership within J&J)

  • I interviewed for the Manufacturing Manager role in Cornelia, GA with a sister J&J company – Ethicon (Medical Devices)
  • I will now be responsible for approximately 300 Employees and all downstream functions of the Absorbable Suture business. (We supply 80% of the worlds sutures)

What is one thing you learned during your time as a candidate with Cameron-Brooks that has been influential to your career success?

Interview skills and presence. I still use the techniques learned when I was leaving the military. I still practiced and I updated skillsets I have acquired over the past 5 years with specific examples and re-capped my military ability actually using the original Cameron-Brook folders when I did the worksheets.

What book/blog/podcast have you read recently that has had a positive impact on your performance?

I quoted Radical Candor by Kim Scott in my interview. I also just finished reading the Oz Principle by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, & Craig Hickman which discusses a culture of accountability.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the business world that you would not have been able to complete without your military background?

Calm presence in stressful situations and being able to reason with long term outcomes versus short-lived victories.

What specific advice would you give to other Cameron-Brooks Alumni, especially the ones in their first two years?

Don’t give up. It is frustrating when you don’t move as quickly as you would in the military – all my peers made Major 2 years ago. I do believe that I am now back on the equal bandwidth with my military peers and the benefits are extremely good.

Is there anything else that you feel would be beneficial to current or former JMOs?

One thing I’ve learned here: P.I.E – Performance Image & Exposure

  • If you’re a Cameron-Brooks representative, I know you have the performance piece
  • Image: Again, you probably don’t need this reminder, but always dress for the level of leadership you want.
  • Exposure: This one I learned. You can have too much exposure where they never miss you/may wonder when you do your actual job. You can have too little exposure where you do an amazing job but no one sees you or knows about you. Focus on getting involved strategically where your job is #1 but you are also helping a bigger picture (people, community, etc.) and it will be that exposure that sets you apart from the rest.