With all the discussion about growth at Mini-Circuits over the last few years, no question is more important than how our team members grow with the company. It’s a question Bridget McCarthy has asked and answered for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to global NGOs and even the U.S. government, and now she’s answering it for Mini-Circuits. A strong learning and development programis a pillar of the company vision for a best-in-class human resources function and the future of the organization. Bridget’s experience and leadership will be a guiding light on the path to realizing that vision.
Bridget’s 20-year journey helping organizations and their members reach their full potential started with the fateful decision to teach English abroad after finishing her undergraduate study. “I lucked into learning and development,” she says. “I was studying Spanish and realized the best way to do it was to go to a Spanish speaking country, so I moved to Spain.” The passion and talent she found for teaching led to an opportunity to serve as an English teacher and trainer for the Peace Corps in Nepal, an experience she credits with her discovery of how education intersects with training and development at the organizational level.
Since then, she has advanced her career across the public and private sectors, serving variously as a facilitator, leader and consultant for organizations spanning telecommunications, financial services, health care and international development. Her recent engagements include development leadership roles in the UN and a tenure as the Head of Human Resources at the U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso. She joins us from the UN Mission in Colombia (Bogotá) where she served as Head of Training.
When asked what attracted her to the opportunity to lead L&D at Mini-Circuits, she points to the intangibles that make the company unique. “There were certain words that really resonated with me, for example, the family atmosphere and that Mini-Circuits was family owned,” she says. “I’ve never worked in a family-owned company or organization before, so I was really curious and attracted to that. It’s interesting because everyone talks about the ‘Mini-Circuits Way,’ and I feel it and I think it’s a great thing. I’ve witnessed it since the recruitment and pre-hire process.”
She was also admittedly impressed with the direction of the business and the power of Mini-Circuits technology. “There’s an expression that says, ‘If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which one, just get on.’ After I completed my masters, I knew which seat I wanted but I didn’t know where my rocket ship was. So, when I saw that Mini-Circuits actually creates components that go into rocket ships, I took that as a sign,” she says.
In her role as the Director of Learning and Development at Mini-Circuits, McCarthy’s main goal is to give both the company and its members readily available resources to succeed in their careers and to help them achieve their learning and developmental goals. A large part of what will make that effective is taking members’ opinions and preferences into account when designing new initiatives.
Bridget sets a good example for practicing what you preach and has made continuous learning a mainstay of her own career. Concurrently with her professional engagements, she’s earned two master’s degrees – one in Business Administration (MBA) and another in International HR Management (MSc) – and she is currently pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) to deepen her expertise in HR and leadership development.
Outside of work, McCarthy is currently working on attaining her Italian citizenship to pay homage to her maternal great grandparents who were Italian immigrants. “With a name like Bridget McCarthy, people would be surprised to know that I am pursing my Italian citizenship,” she laughs. “As we are a nation of immigrants, and I’m a third-generation daughter of immigrants on both sides of my family, I’m eligible through ancestry.”
McCarthy plans to take a visit to Italy again soon to reacquaint herself with distant family members. She is very fond of traveling and has made friends all over the world thanks to her career with the UN. In the future, McCarthy hopes to continue to pursue her passion for traveling and to meeting new people.
The Mini-Circuits team is lucky to have a figure with Bridget’s experience at the helm of its learning and development program.