I recently conducted a job interview with a potential Field Service Engineering candidate. Good guy, sharp, professional, just about to graduate with a 4-year Mechanical Engineering degree from a top school. I wanted him on the team. But, it didn’t happen. He left a voice mail this morning telling me he is pursuing other options. He provided a couple of vague reasons, but I think the real reason is something that came out in the interview: He doesn’t think the water systems industry is glamorous or high tech enough.
It’s his decision to make, not mine. And, I can understand why a twenty-something might feel that way. We’re not involved in nanotechnology or finding life on Mars. It’s hard to look at a ½ horsepower control box with its 2 components (relay and capacitor) and think “high tech”.
But, he made a bad decision and has a shortsighted view. Here’s what he didn’t get: There’s nothing else that offers a more interesting intersection of different disciplines than the water systems industry. To be part of our industry is to be involved in electrical engineering (motors, controls, VFDs to name a few), mechanical engineering (pump design, hydraulics, vibration analysis, etc.), materials science, metallurgy, and geology. And that’s just the technical side. To be in our industry is also to be in the middle of a slew of today’s environmental, political, and legal issues. All of it revolving around water, life’s most basic need.
What could be cooler than that?