The Women of S44: Celebrating Women's Month

In honor of International Women’s Month, we’re celebrating the women of S44. Meet Lauren Kunkel, Recruitment Manager, on our People Team working to uncover future S44 innovators across functions on two continents.

S44 Team

Meet Lauren, Recruitment Manager & Talent Whisperer

Can you tell us a little about yourself?  

I am a Recruiting Manager based in Minnesota, U.S.A.

My father built a beautiful family home nestled on land from my Grandparents. So growing up here, in central Minnesota, I was surrounded by family who lived on the same rural road. I remember fondly running over to my aunt and uncle’s hobby farm to play with highlanders, yaks, kittens, horses; you name it.

I have two older brothers who married incredible women, one who blessed me with my first niece and the other who is expecting my second niece! I like to see that women are beginning to run the family after being raised with my brothers.  

Today, I live on the Southeastern side of Minnesota, bordering Wisconsin. I am a proud dog-mom to Coco (8.5 years old) & Zena (3 months old). Often my hobbies and interests include spending quality time with loved ones, hiking the bluff lands, enjoying the Mississippi River in the short warm months we see, and traveling every chance I get!

What influenced you to pursue your career in Talent Acquisition?  

I’ve always been people-oriented, and I find fulfillment in connecting with friends, strangers, and folks from all backgrounds. I went to the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and received a B.A. in Marketing. I fell into my first HR-focused role soon after, finding my home.  

Throughout my career, I’ve gravitated to Talent Acquisition. This is because it holds such an essential piece of business operations. The age-old “a company is only as good as its employees” plus there is nothing better than connecting someone’s passions within opportunities on our teams and seeing their contributions shape the future. Just being a small hand in that process is absolutely thrilling.  

What (or who) inspires you in this career, or in general?

So far in my career, all my direct managers have been women. That in itself is pretty inspiring, and I’ve learned a ton from each of them. Outside of that, I would like to call out my sister-in-law, Jenna. Although we’re on different paths, she has been a career-driven woman I can turn to when looking for guidance.

What piece of advice would you give to another woman pursuing a career in your field?

It's no surprise to anyone that we are in unprecedented times in the talent market. People are leaving the field because it’s become increasingly challenging to secure talent, which can be draining. So my advice is to be persistent, be inquisitive, be yourself, and don’t forget to celebrate the small wins.  

Good hires don’t fall into laps, it takes a creative approach and a persistency to overcome the “no’s”. And at the end of the day, keep that individual and human approach since we’re dealing with humans after all.  

When you dream about future opportunities or possibilities – what do you aspire towards?

I fully appreciate that progress isn’t linear and filled with missteps, lessons, and learnings. However, I always strive to emanate that within my team because nothing is better than those ah-ha moments when things click and progress is made. I simply aspire to be in a constant state of learning because when you stop learning, you stop growing.