MBA alum driven to innovate

Ann Lyon Ritchie -

 Kimberly Andrews, Carlow University alumphoto by Renee Rosensteel 

The future is taking shape in Pittsburgh, and Kimberly Andrews, MBA '13 has a role in the innovation at the rideshare and autonomous vehicle company Uber.

"Carlow left me with ambitions and dreams, and a desire to do something great," Andrews said.

Entrepreneurial at heart, Andrews' sheer grit and determination helped her climb the ladder from the bottom at Uber, where she is now a member of the Advanced Technologies Group.

Three years ago, she took a job driving for Uber. The decision put her in the driver's seat of her career in more ways than one. When a customer requested a ride from Monroeville to Manhattan, Kimberly discovered "a trip of a lifetime."

The unusually high fare required her to get approval for payment at her local Uber drivers' center. A customer service representative helped her and also told her about other jobs within the company. Shortly after, she landed a new position at Uber helping to manage driver accounts.

Once inside the workplace, she felt encouraged to make a difference.

Andrews made a habit of participating in employee surveys to provide the company with feedback. On a lark, she sent a direct email to the distributor of one of the surveys.

The email led to her next opportunity. After some conversation, she was invited to participate in a marketing campaign. Uber flew her to Hollywood - the only employee from the East Coast - for a photo shoot.

Andrews also brought to Uber an appreciation for diverse perspectives. She once asked a general manager, "What will Uber do to support the promotability of minorities." From there, she became involved in surveying and speaking about the company's inclusion efforts.

Andrews is now a board member for Women of Uber and the organization's community co-lead. With membership expanding nationwide, she directly sets goals for the organization across the country.

 "It was at Carlow that I practiced communication skills. I learned to look people in the face and ask the right questions. I learned to identify problems, create solutions and constantly seek opportunities to create embedded stability within my organization," she said.

Earlier this year, Andrews took another new role - a Mission Specialist position in Uber's Advanced Technologies Group - where she is involved in developing autonomous technology. The technical role would have intimidated some, but not Andrews.

"I don't have a technical background, but they loved my attitude and ambition and trained me in a technical role," she said.

Kimberly draws inspiration from a personal mantra: "It doesn't matter what others believe; the only thing that matters is that you believe in yourself."

Uber's work in autonomous vehicles is already changing the Pittsburgh landscape. With growth in the transportation industry on the horizon, Carlow looks forward to seeing Andrews next destination.

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