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Career Story: Engineering Operations Manager For An Electric And Gas Company

Engineering Operations Manager For An Electric And Gas Company

Job Title: Engineering Operations

Type of Company: International electric and gas infrastructure company.

Education: BS, Electrical Engineering, Florida Tech •• MS, Electrical Engineering, Georgia Tech

Previous Experience: I started out as an associate electrical engineer, moved from there to project management, got international experience in information technology and services, and shifted into federal and state regulatory policy, and gained on the job risk and compliance for technical operations. I am now responsible for electrical transmission systems, Northeast US Operations.

Job Tasks: My chief duty is to oversee the management of all aspects of day-to-day round-the-clock operations in as safe, reliable and compliant a fashion as possible.

A typical day begins with a look at operational issues: emergencies, responses to emergencies and compliance reporting. I then review investment priorities, address pressing external policy matters and confer with my staff on ways to promote the company's vision and goals. I also have certain program responsibilities, with oversight over Information Technology, Labor and Human Resources, and Commercial Services. Long years of management experience have given me a greater sense of appreciation for other teams and the skills to collaborate with them -- to listen to and absorb other views.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with people, both inside and outside the company. I also find it satisfying to set myself goals, calibrate progress and measure results.

The worst part can be working through issues with the small minority of employees who are difficult or refractory; but having to respond to emergencies and major power outages is a close second.

Job Tips: An engineering degree inculcates discipline, develops focus and provides you with the means to excel. Once you have decided on a job, don't be afraid to take on additional challenges in areas outside your comfort zone. And always demonstrate the willingness to learn more. Be constructive, lead the way in solving problems, and never raise an issue before you've thought about the ways you could fix it. Ask questions, do your homework, always be prepared and confident, and have fun. When you do all those things, you will find your career, as it will never find you!

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