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Adapting Is Key to Success When Working for Two Engineering Groups

I expected to start my career at ESD in 2018 with the Commissioning (Cx) Group. However, another group within the company, Automation, needed my assistance.

I moved from the Commissioning Group to the Automation Group even though I had no knowledge of what controls design entailed—after all, my ESD internship in 2017 had focused on mechanical design. I spent my first 11 months learning controls design standards, developing design documents and coordinating with trades across the firm.

After a while I rejoined the Commissioning Group—while also working for the Automation Group. Within my first week on the Cx team, I drove to a data center construction site with the intention of completing simple VAV functional performance tests. By day three, I was testing two large complex air-handling systems for data halls. By week four, I was our ESD representative on-site lead coordinating the mechanical and electrical testing schedule with our client, the general contractor and the manufacturer’s representatives. Amid all of this, I also trained two new team members.

After six months working for both groups, today I am working solely in the Automation Group. I’ve had some time to reflect upon the question: How does one manage a busy job and heavy workload between two groups?

Here are three lessons learned from my experience:

  1. Embrace the fire. Oftentimes I found myself not readily jumping to client meetings or taking on small projects in my first months at ESD due to a lack of confidence. Once I did, I portrayed myself as the driving force, showed I was a key player and learned I’m capable of so much more.
  2. Accept the unexpected. If we always follow a predetermined path, we’ll never challenge ourselves and gather a new knowledge base or skill. Though I had never heard about our Automation Group prior to joining ESD fulltime, now I couldn’t be more grateful for the mentors I’ve gained and the standards I’ve learned.
  3. Communication is always important! I always find myself struggling to advocate for myself, but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be in this position. Set aside time on your peers’ calendars to ask questions, and keep ideas and conversations flowing.

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