Karuna Sandu, Senior Director of Service Technology, Shares Her Story and Advice for Women

By Lyle Weischwill | Mar. 23, 2023 10:18 am PST

During Women’s History Month, I feel compelled to share my story of success and offer advice to others who will play vital roles in the success of our company and country.

The Beginnings

I began my career with Sears in 2001 as an e-commerce developer, which was a booming era for online e-commerce. Being new to the country as an immigrant who relocated to the United States just a year before, I was very nervous about how I would immerse myself in the new society, culture and work environment. It was an amazing experience to see the welcoming nature of the Sears culture and thriving diversity. It helped me quickly gain my confidence to expose my true potential.

Journey to Leadership

Starting as a developer in the e-commerce department, my journey went on for next two decades growing into the roles of team leader, manager and now Marketing and Call center Technology Head.

The diversification of ideas, processes, technologies and leadership styles continued to challenge me to reach new heights.

Taking up new projects, often out of my comfort zone, helped keep me motivated for advancement and growth.

As I look back, the common positive element has been the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Sears culture is filled with a team spirit that believes success or failure is a team effort. We took risks and pushed the boundaries of innovation and I am forever thankful. Now I try to propagate the same spirit in the teams I lead.

Image of a Sears team with Karuna Sandu

Advice to Women Looking to Grow as a Leader in Technology

  • Never be afraid to speak out and stand up for what you think is right.
  • Be open and honest about your achievements or misses.
  • The only way to earn a trusted relationship with business partners is by being honest about project risks – mitigating them by seeking help or having proper contingency plans.
  • Involve others and seek input from team members at every stage of new initiatives – from setting goals, committing to timelines, planning, and execution. This not only increases collective motivation, engagement, and ownership, it also leads to long-term success as a high-performance team.
  • The technology landscape constantly changes, so don’t be afraid to embrace new, emerging technologies.
  • What is important is having the passion to lead with enthusiasm, encouragement, development, teamwork and creativity.
  • Share your knowledge and take time to mentor the team – remembering how others helped you grow. Passing on a mentoring legacy helps you grow professionally and prepare future leaders. You’ll gain respect from your peers, subordinates, vendors and customers.

Image of Karuna Sandu

Please help others in the same way as I have, as we observe and celebrate the important role of women in technology, business and American history. Together, we all make our world stronger.

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