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Career Story: Sales Engineer For CAD/CAM Software

Sales Engineer For CAD/CAM Software

Job Title: Sales Engineer

Type of Company: We sell computer-aided design and manufacturing software.

Education: BS, Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M •• MBA, University of Texas at Dallas

Previous Experience: I worked as a design engineer for an aerospace structures company. I discovered, doing that, that manufacturing had more fun (they get to make stuff) and moved over to manufacturing engineering.

Job Tasks: My primary job is to sell software. Specifically, we have sales guys who make phone calls and do research to find companies that could benefit from our software. Then it's up to me to show these companies what they could do with our software and how it could benefit them.

I usually run our software on my laptop and I present it in one of two ways. The first is to travel to the company's location and show it to them in person. I've been all across the country doing this, along with Canada, Mexico, and England. For the last two years, we've also had the option of making presentations remotely, over the internet. This allows me to stay home (and saves the company travel expenses) and allows me to spend more time with my family. But the occasional trip is still nice.

I have worked with all different kinds of industries - aerospace, military, medical, electronics, etc. One day I will work with a company making tiny medical implants the size of a Tic Tac, and the next day I will work with a shipbuilding company.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job are: It's challenging. I have to think a lot and come up with creative solutions. It's always different. I see a huge slice of the world and every day is something new. It incorporates the latest technology. We're a leading-edge software company.

The worst parts are the ups and downs. Our company is in a very competitive industry and is always affected by recessions and changes in industries. And jobs, as a consequence, are not always stable. We have had layoffs periodically over the years, and that is always emotionally draining. There is always too much work and not enough time.

Job Tips: You must be well rounded. An engineer who's great with numbers and formulas and technology but doesn't have effective communication skills will never have a chance to do great things. Engineers must be able to speak and write effectively and must be able to use Powerpoint as adeptly as they can use Excel.

You've got to understand people. Even though my job is technical, it is also emotional. I need to be able to interact and communicate with my customers and colleagues. I need to understand what my customer is worried about, what makes him happy, what makes him tick. Only then can I show him some great technology that will help him do his engineering work better.

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