“I always wanted to be a doctor, because I wanted to help people and have a positive impact each day,” says Danielle Guccione. “But then I visited my older sister Leia, who was taking summer classes at Iowa State, and was introduced to her mechanical engineering advisor. Her advisor talked to me about engineering and everything you could do with a degree. She was so passionate and it sounded so exciting! From that point, I wanted to study engineering.”
A native of Hudson, Ohio, U.S.A., Danielle’s family moved to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. when she was four years old. “It was idyllic, with old stone buildings and farms with barns amidst rolling green hills, like something out of a magazine,” says Danielle. At age 14, the family moved again, this time to Stratford-upon-Avon, England, which she describes as “historic, being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. “It was an amazing experience; I went to a British school, so was completely immersed in the culture.” When she was 18, her family moved back to the U.S., to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. She enrolled at the University of Tulsa, and graduated four years later with a B.S. in mechanical engineering, with Honors.
Engineering Management Acceleration Program
Danielle signed on with Dresser-Rand during her final year at Tulsa as part of the company’s Engineering Management Acceleration Program (EMAP), one of the company’s early career and leadership opportunities designed to provide participants with multiple and diverse developmental experiences. The five-year program comprises three one-year rotations in various disciplines, with the final two years comprising a major job assignment.
Danielle began at the Wellsville, New York, U.S.A. facility in the packaging group, followed by rotations in Olean, New York and Houston, Texas, where she focused on product design and new equipment. “It was a great experience, because I was able to interact with the sales team while learning the technical side of our compressors.” Her final rotation was in Field Service in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A. “I went full circle, from design and manufacturing, to sales, then on to services. I gained a broad overview of the organization.”
Danielle’s first job out of the program was in Applied Technology Optimization Solutions, followed by her current assignment as the Service Contract Manager for Phillips 66 – a new position created through a partnership between the two companies.
“I work with a number of people at Phillips 66 headquarters as well as the local level on aftermarket issues and various continuous improvement initiatives,” says Danielle. She says the job is “very dynamic and constantly evolving.” She describes herself as an orchestra conductor, whose job is to make sure everything goes smoothly. “I’m also sort of a guinea pig,” she asserts, “we’re kind of writing the book as we go along; and looking to potentially introduce this role to other clients in the future.”
It’s All About People
Danielle has been in Services for four years. “It’s challenging,” she acknowledges, “but it provides the most opportunities to really have an impact, knowing you helped with a major issue – such as safety or quality – something that affects the bottom line.”
She describes her job as being more than just about equipment; rather, she says, it’s about people – forming relationships with the client and working toward a common goal. Clients often call Danielle because they know she’ll do her very best to help. “Yes, there are headaches, but that’s also what makes it worth it. Having an impact and achieving something.”
“Timing is critical,’” says Danielle. “Things can always be faster in the eyes of our clients. When units are down, they’re losing money. Emotions can be high, so communication is critical. You need to get everyone on the same page.”
But, says Danielle, you also learn that you can’t control everything. “There are emergencies, unplanned calls – you have to be adaptable.” She is quick to point out that you can’t take anything too personally.
A Family of STEM Women
“I come from a line of high-achieving women,” says Danielle. Her grandmother was a combat nurse in WW II and earned three battle stars. At the conclusion of hostilities, she was the chief nurse at the U.S. Military Hospital in Paris. Her mother has two technical degrees in addition to an MBA, and was an R&D chemist across multiple industry segments. She now inspires high school students by teaching chemistry. Her older sister, Leia, double majored at Iowa State (mechanical engineering and political science), while going through Naval ROTC. Upon graduating, she attended the Navy’s Nuclear Power School, and became a nuclear engineer on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Leia went on to earn an M.S. in sustainable development from the University of London, and is now a manager at the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Away from the job, Danielle loves being active, especially outdoors. She was a Division I Varsity rower at the University of Tulsa. “I’m an avid skier but also love trying new things and challenging myself. I’d like to try an Iron Man triathlon at some point,” she enthusiastically exclaims.
Danielle also considers herself a bookworm. Among her favorites is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. “Aspects of the book will resonate with anyone who considers themselves as driven.”
To this day, Danielle is thankful for having had that interaction with her sister’s college advisor concerning a degree in engineering. But even today, not unlike a doctor, hers is a 24/7/365 job where she’s helping people and having a positive impact. “Services never sleeps… we’re always on call. Our clients have very high expectations of us, and we do our best to not only meet, but exceed those expectations.”