Pioneers
Mar 04, 2022
| 4 min read

"You have to be ready for feedback as a leader"

Women on the power to lead: Kimberly Wicklund

To mark International Women’s Day, Kimberly Wicklund, Head of Product Management BioAnalytics Workflows, shares her career journey, the successes and challenges, and how she is empowering the next generation of leaders to chart their own way forward.

This article is posted on Sartorius Blog.
 

Kimberly Wicklund, Head of Product Management for the Lab Products & Services Division


From a young age, Kimberly Wicklund always had a love for science. Inspired by her family’s deep roots in education, she pursued a PhD in chemical engineering to be a professor. After one year at the bench, Kimberly knew it wasn’t her path. She wanted to connect with people.

“I started talking to people in Sales,” said Kimberly. “I thought, ‘maybe I can sell scientific equipment’, but I couldn’t get a job because I didn’t have the experience.” Eventually, she met someone who needed help selling advanced microscope equipment. “They didn't care about my sales skills. It was more about if I could understand and talk to scientists about this equipment,” she said. And the answer was yes. “I loved it! I am a people person and wanted to be in front of customers.”

But not so fast. After working there, Kimberly soon realized she actually wanted to fix the products she was selling and pitched herself as their new Product Manager, helping to identify the customer need and the business objectives that a product will fulfill – and paving the way towards her start at Sartorius.
 

    Explore Our Open Jobs in Product Management


Kimberly, how and why did you join Sartorius?

"I joined Sartorius through the acquisition of Essen BioScience in 2017 where I was Director of Product Development. I worked at Essen because I have a passion for life science, which is a perfect fit for me. Today, the bioanalytics portfolio at Sartorius supports our customers from the life science industry to accelerate their work in the labs – get results faster. Through this journey, I realized that another passion is fixing problems.

I think what’s fantastic about Sartorius is that the people are great and so is the vision. I am fully committed to both. It’s clear where we are going, and I know we can get there, so that is what keeps me going each day. There’s a lot of work to do, and we are all here to find solutions that simplify our customers' work and help them move forward."
 

You have tried different paths during your career that still went in a similar direction. Tell us, what energizes you about your career?

"It feels absolutely right. I love the breadth of different problems I have to solve, and I love talking to many different people. I love the sense of accomplishment when we fix a customer’s problem or a salesperson’s issue. The growth of the company has been incredible, so it’s rewarding to be part of this journey. I also feel so lucky to have the people I work with each day. They are fun, smart, and passionate. I feel like I’m always learning from people, about a product or a market."
 

It’s scary at first to put yourself out there, but you have to be willing and accepting of criticism. You have to be ready for feedback as a leader.

Kimberly Wicklund, Head of Product Management BioAnalytics Workflows


What was a moment that gave you the power to lead?

"I was in ninth grade, so first year of high school, and it was the first time I put myself into my school community and said, ‘I want to be a leader’ as class president. I remember thinking, ‘oh well, I probably won’t win.’ I was already defeated in my mind, but then I was elected. Ever since, I’ve been putting myself in situations to lead. It’s scary at first to put yourself out there, but you have to be willing and accepting of criticism. You have to be ready for feedback as a leader. There’s a funny saying my friend’s grandmother would say that rings true: “You know, I know what I know, and I know what I don't know—and I am confident in both.” I believe it can empower you to go forward and lead without being worried about what other people think."

You discovered your will and skill to lead early on. As a corporate leader today, what kind of positive influence do you bring to Sartorius?

"I bring a lot of energy and focus to the role, driving hard toward goals with a dose of fun and humor. I am one of the people in the meetings that will just have to sneak in something a little bit funny. You have to have a balance, too, because sometimes fixing problems and finding solutions can be daunting. At the same time, I want to make sure my team feels supported and is able to find solutions. If they have a problem they can’t solve, I am there to talk to them and provide resources. Sartorius has audacious goals and we are here to meet those goals"


I bring a lot of energy and focus to the role, driving hard toward goals with a dose of fun and humor.

Kimberly Wicklund, Head of Product Management BioAnalytics Workflows


At Sartorius, have you any experience in inspiring other women to grow into leadership roles?

"If someone has that strong aptitude but doesn’t quite have the confidence yet, I think it’s about encouraging that person and helping see that their knowledge is valid, because it is needed. It’s really about building up confidence and recognizing their accomplishments. I have a number of people on my team participating in leadership training at Sartorius. It’s important to learn the skills that are needed to lead, not just the hard skills like job-related knowledge, but the soft ones such as the personal qualities that help employees to thrive in the workplace.

My advice for anyone who is ambitious to advance their career would be to get to know the people in the organization, listen and pay attention, take notes of the people that are doing something you’d like to be doing and ask them about it or ask for help. It’s more efficient and effective to get you where you’d like to go."


Get to know the people in the organization, listen and pay attention, take notes of the people that are doing something you’d like to be doing and ask them about it or ask for help.

Kimberly Wicklund, Head of Product Management BioAnalytics Workflows


    Discover Your Career Opportunities in the United States

About Kimberly

Kimberly Wicklund is the Head of Product Management for BioAnalytics at Sartorius. Kim joined the Incucyte team in 2015, and has worked in the world of imaging and microscopy since 2000. She has also worked in a range of roles, including sales, applications and technical support, before discovering her home in product management. She obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley, and currently lives in Northville, Michigan with her husband and two children.


Women at Sartorius: Facts & Figures

At Sartorius, 5,394 women are working towards our ambition of enabling better health for more people, advancing their careers and growing with the company.

Discover More

Related Content

Pioneers
Mar 04, 2022 | 4 min read

Break all self-imposed limitations, see your strengths - You will find your stage”

Echo Zhang, Head of Customer Support Center Asia, shares what skills and capabilities it takes to be successful in her role and how she helps her team excel in challenging situations.

Pioneers
Mar 04, 2022 | 4 min read

“Every good manager must have doubts from time to time”

Valerie Morillon, Head of Virtual Sales Europe for Sartorius’ lab products and services division shares insights about her growth story and provides tips on how to become a better leader.

Pioneers
Mar 04, 2022 | 4 min read

“Embrace the fear and let it propel you toward your objectives"

Mary Jane Guy, Head of General Sales for North America for the Eastern region, shares her career journey, how to embrace fear in order to succeed, and why leadership is everyone’s responsibility.