Jesse Lambert began his Norfolk Southern career as a conductor in 2006. As his interest in the company grew, he explored available opportunities and decided to pursue the Operations Supervisor Training program. He signed up after working a little more than a year as a conductor.
“During my time in the OST program, I was trained by some of the most qualified officers and employees at NS,” he said. After training, Lambert took a job as assistant trainmaster at Mingo Junction, Ohio. Two years later, he was promoted to lead trainmaster in Conway, Pa., where he learned about on-time performance and metrics that drive the railroad. In 2012, Lambert returned to Mingo Junction as lead trainmaster.
“My experience in both terminal and road operations has given me a well-rounded view of the railroad and allowed me to piece the puzzle together,” he said
Lambert said he has advanced at NS by seeking ways to make himself more valuable to the company. At some point in your career, he said, it’s important to take control of your own training and make your own opportunities
“I’ve found that if you get involved and show genuine interest in what is going on around you, others will take interest in you,” he said
A case in point: Lambert is among a group of employees participating in an NS pilot program called Stepping Up to Management. The program, offered in conjunction with Harvard Business Publishing, is designed to prepare an employee to become a manager of others
Earlier this year, Lambert’s supervisor selected him to help train employees in behavior-based safety processes. Prior to that, Lambert held two workshops to dispel misconceptions about NS culture change and to get everyone on the same page.
“I am proud to be part of a company-wide initiative that will positively impact employee relations,” he said
Lambert encourages employees to put themselves “out there” and take advantage of every opportunity. “I’ve been exposed to different programs, settings, and locations where I’ve been able to interact with quality people at all levels of the company,” he said. “Personally and professionally, NS has allowed me to do things that I probably wouldn’t have been able to do had I not become actively involved in the company.”