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Career Story: System Engineering Director For A Maker Of Computer Storage Devices

System Engineering Director For A Maker Of Computer Storage Devices

Job Title: Director System Engineering

Type of Company: My company designs and manufactures RAID storage products for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) market. Companies utilize our core technology and create a front end that makes it look like it's theirs.

Education: AA, Computer Science •• various technical certificates

Previous Experience: I started in the computer business in 1981 as a computer operator and moved up into customer service. After several years in the field, I joined the technical sales force. Then for several years I worked as a System Engineer before advancing into management. In time, I was promoted to Director and then became Director of World Wide System Engineering.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for all day-to-day system engineering activity worldwide, scheduling Sales Engineers and Sales Reps to appear at major meetings with our customer base. I am also responsible for helping drum up new business with the Original Equipment Manufacturers. I deal with every aspect of the process, from the evaluation phase to making sure that we've met the customer's technical needs to helping the customer use our product to increase his sales. This last aspect is vital to promoting our products: we are often called upon to help customers with their POST sale efforts.

I am also involved with the start up of a worldwide professional services organization. I am also responsible for all System Engineering activity for the eastern US (from Florida to Maine) and Canada. This responsibility is met with several sales meetings, evaluations, assigned account responsibility and help with escalated POST sales activities. As Director I am responsible for performance appraisals, salary requirements, disciplinary actions, customer escalations within the Executive Staff, Solution creation, Professional Service opportunities, creation of account assignments, territory breakdown world wide and a managing a 1.5 million dollar budget.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with customers to offer new solutions in the market place and showing end users how one of our products would benefit their organization.

The worst part of the job is managing customer and/or employee conflict and the paperwork associated with employee appraisals.

Job Tips: If you are interested in becoming a Field System Engineer, get as much field experience as possible. As crazy as it sounds, put yourself in the line of fire: get yourself into tough situations where equipment isn't working and work towards a fix. These unpleasant experiences will work to your advantage later on when you are challenged by Presidents, CEO's or executive staff regarding issues with products or solutions.

Additional Thoughts: I didn't realize that my work as a customer service representative played such an important role in my job today. I have learned how to deal with very serious conflicts between multimillion dollar corporations as well as working with executives in the creation of new solutions utilizing future technologies.

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