Community
Alumni
Alumni Stories

SHAUNA FINNIE

Graduating Class: 1983
Current Position: Driving safer, cleaner ground transportation at Google
Current Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Education / School 1: UCLA, UC Berkeley, Harvard University
The question “What have you done since EB” in less than a page is difficult to answer not because I’ve done so many things but simply because I graduated from EB a very long time ago! To reach the 20-year milestone makes me feel old, yet it has been a fulfilling time in large part due to the unique foundation I was provided by EB.

To sum up these –gulp – 20 years, I have lived in 4 different countries (5 different states within the US), have attended 8
different schools, and have worked with people from countless
backgrounds. Change has clearly been a staple in my life to
date, and it is the learning I received at an early age that has
provided me with the necessary tools to pursue, enjoy and
succeed in all of these situations.

From EB, I hopped on the yellow school bus to attend Berkeley
Public Schools and loved this new context until my family moved to Lausanne, Switzerland where I attended the local public
high school (“collège”) and thereby rekindled my ability to speak French. Upon returning to the US, I finished high school at CPS and headed to UCLA to major in Mechanical Engineering. Not ready to join the real world after spending 4 years in la-la land, I pursued my Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at UCBerkeley. Upon graduation, I accepted a foreign assignment with Ford Motor Company to work on revamping their operations in Bordeaux, France. After 2 1⁄2 years of la bonne vie (including a 6-month rotation to Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, Germany), I returned to the US to join Ford’s leadership development program. This included managing Ranger Truck
Final Assembly (with over 50 UAW line operators on night shift) and then managing brand strategy with Ford’s creative artists in the design studios. These were definitely some diverse and stamina-building assignments!

Eager to escape the real world once again, back to school I went! In June 2001, I received my MBA from Harvard Business School and moved to New York to join McKinsey & Company as a
Consultant. While it was an invaluable learning assignment, I missed having my skin in the game with tangible responsibilities and products. So, I am now with Honeywell International building a small fluorochemicals business and enjoying every minute of it. In addition to a steep technical learning curve, I am enjoying commercializing technologies for a diverse array of market ranging from semiconductor etching to cosmetics. Although I will always be a California girl at heart, I continue to enjoy living in New York City and will never take it for granted after September 11th, 2001. Every day is a new day, so the possibility of moving back “home” (to Berkeley) will never be out of the question, but for now New York is treating me well.

Despite changes in geography, jobs, schools, etc, there is a common theme that resonates, which I believe started with EB: an openness to new, challenging situations outside any sense of comfort zone and to a diverse crowd. EB taught me that multiple ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds can all get along on one playground and that we can always learn from each other’s beliefs. Furthermore, my friends from EB are still some of my closest, and despite the 20 years since our graduation, none
of us feel as if any time has gone by whenever we get together. Don’t we all wish that were the case!
Back