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Career Story: Manager For An Alternative Energy Parts And Materials Dealer

Manager For An Alternative Energy Parts And Materials Dealer

Job Title: Industrial Sales

Type of Company: My company sells parts and materials for steam turbines, generators, and wind turbines.

Education: some college completed: Syracuse University, Hudson Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College. I am currently attending SUNY-Empire State.

Previous Experience: I started as an engineering intern in a manufacturing facility. I then took an internship for a municipality working on AutoCAD. Both led me to an internship at a major global corporation where I was asked back for a second summer and never left. I have worked here for the past six years.

Job Tasks: My group sells and services electrical products like wire, cable, conduit, receptacles, lighting, etc. We also sell welded and machined parts, and the hoist that sits at the top of the tower that "pulls" all of the parts to various parts of the tower to be installed.

I am responsible for managing the day-to-day needs of the wind turbine electricals program -- from the rolling of the cans that make the tower (the vertical section of the wind turbine) to installation, to maintenance after the towers are handed over to the utility company. These responsibilities include ordering, building, and shipping material to tower manufacturers. Once it's shipped we support the tower manufacturers with technical support and replacement of damaged or defective parts. We also support the wind tower material once it ships out the to installation site. Contractors break and lose parts and they need them quickly so we often overnight parts to the sites to help meet their deadlines.

Because of the recent economic downturn, wind site financing is difficult and often the schedule of how many turbines we ship is in flux. When this happens we have to make sure we don't have too much material on order (too much inventory) or not enough material on order (shortages).

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that it is fast-paced and interesting. I am working on green energy and that makes me feel like I'm a part of a greater cause. I also enjoy the team I work with. Finding people you like working with 8-12 hours a day is sometimes more important than the job itself!

I wouldn't say it's the worst part of my job but because most of the parts we sell are the same (over and over), I sometimes wish I had new things to work on. But I do enjoy the feeling that I know EVERYTHING about my job. I feel important to the team.

Job Tips:
1. My internships were absolutely invaluable to finding out what I DIDN'T want to do. I highly suggest that you get several under your belt. Employers respect experience.

2. Keep an eye on your priorities. Work-life balance is difficult but worth the effort.

3. Be careful who you befriend and who you become enemies with. You never who is going to be your boss -- or who will be reporting to you down the road. Keep on good terms with everyone.

Additional Thoughts: My biggest regret was leaving college because "I wasn't sure what I wanted my major to be." Most of the people I work with end up doing very different work over the course of their careers than they seemed headed for initially. I should have stayed in school and finished my degree -- any degree is better than none. In some ways I feel trapped here because I didn't finish. Now, when I have a house, a husband, a toddler, and other responsibilities, I'm trying to finish, but it's difficult and demanding and frustrating. No matter how hard it is or how broke you feel, there's NOTHING more important than getting your degree. You will regret leaving school if you do.

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