Employee Spotlight: Karen Jarboe



Karen JarboeKaren Jarboe

Aerospace AUDITOR at TÜV SÜD America

#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.

Can you discuss your role within TÜV SÜD America?
I am an Aerospace Auditor and team member to the lead auditor. As a team member, my day consists of following the lead auditors plan, as well as working with the client. I also try to ensure that the process being established is performed in the correct manner and is in compliance with the standards that I am auditing them to.

How long have you been an Aerospace Auditor and what do you enjoy most about it?
I have been in my current role for about eight years. I really enjoy the opportunity to work with clients and to help them continually improve.

What drew you to this career path?
I’ve been in this industry for about 35 years. I was working as the Senior Director of Quality at an Aerospace firm in Fort Worth, but had the desire to get on the other side of the desk and do on-site visits to help clients achieve their goals in making their QMS systems work well for their particular situation. I felt the only way I could truly do that was through auditing. As an auditor, I have the opportunity to assess a situation and provide guidance in accordance with TÜV SÜD standards, making a client aware of areas in their system that fail to meet compliance while maintaining helpful mannerisms so they don’t feel they are being singled out in any way. My driving mission in this role is to enable my client to succeed.

Are there any challenges you've faced during your career that have taught you important lessons?
Yes, I would say one the most important lessons I’ve learned is to listen and think through what a client is saying before responding. By doing this, I’m benefiting both myself and the client by understanding what they’re telling me about their processes. No assumptions or pre-judgements are made based on what you think they may want. Taking the time to listen, analyze, and understand leads to a more well-thought out response. Also, sometimes there can be a language barrier or a difference in terminology. For instance, someone could be talking about a DMR and I’m thinking discrepant material, but they actually mean a design master record. So, it’s imperative to completely understand what a client means before responding to avoid any confusion.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to pursue this career path?
If you like travel and are detail oriented, it’s a long path to become an auditor, but there are a lot of days where you feel like you made a difference for a client.

When not working, how do you spend your spare time?
Outside of work, I love spending quality time with my family.

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