Over the past year, I have had the privilege to work at a family-owned company in my hometown of Waverly, IA. I made the transition from a much larger company to a local company to be closer to home and add to my career experience. Coming into it, I knew that I would be wearing many hats and working on different projects as I was needed. I felt as if I could bring a new look to the company in addition to expanding my experience as an engineer. I believe that the year I have spent here has done that for me and more.
Starting out, with any new job, is an adjustment. New people, new roles, and new projects are among the few things that stand out. Working at a company of about 175 people, I knew that I would have the opportunity to get to know the people I work with. What better way to get to know people than to work side by side with them to learn the new product? Much of the initial time I spent here was dedicated to becoming more comfortable with the people around me. I have yet to meet someone working at UEA that would not take time to answer a question that you may have. This mentality is helpful for a new employee as it shows that we all care about the product we deliver and will help wherever needed.
Getting your feet wet with new design projects is another part of my experience that I can appreciate. As a person who learns best from being shown how to do it and then being allowed to explore the best solution on their own, I spent a lot of time looking toward others for assistance. As a custom slip ring manufacturer, new projects come in of all shapes and sizes. Having the personnel to assist me where I fell short and then allowing me to come up with my own solution helped me grow as an engineer. I have become more confident in the product line at UEA in addition to expanding my abilities to design. The knowledge base and willingness to assist with anything has helped me feel like UEA is my home.
Contrary to a larger company, I have had the pleasure to meet and interact with many members of upper management. From the start, meeting the very people that keep the wheels of the company moving was a great way for me to get to know the folks I would be seeing every day. In addition, meeting all of the department leads, managers, and main players in each area helped me learn where to go when I need help and who may be coming to ask my help on future projects. This was instrumental in me gaining confidence in communicating to others as well as feeling like an important part of the UEA team.
Starting a new job at a new company can be intimidating at times. The culture and people at UEA has made my experience here enjoyable and nothing but fantastic. I have spent a year at UEA and have enjoyed my time spent on the interesting project applications, working with knowledgeable people, and growing myself within the wall of the family owned business.