A recent mechanical engineering graduate's experience starting his career

Feb. 26, 2020
Putman media intern Alexandra Ditoro interviews a recent mechanical engineering graduate

Alexandra Ditoro, a current journalism student at Loyola University in Chicago, builds on our last podcast about the academic-practice gap with her interview with Jack Ferguson, a recent graduate of Clemson University and a seal reliability engineer at SEPCO. Alexandra and Jack discuss Jack’s transition from a student to a practitioner, what he felt confident about and what he maybe didn’t feel so confident about as he started his career.

Below is a portion of the interview. The full transcript is available here.

Alexandra: So, if this side of engineering and of manufacturing was something you were unfamiliar with, what made you interested in it? What made you pursue this job? Is there anything about it that made you want to go into this specific area?

Jack: Well, as I was kinda coming out of school, I knew I wanted to go into some sort of manufacturing area, something a little more hands-on. I found I didn't really like design work all that much. And, to be honest, this job was the first job that I was able to get a job offer for after college. And I was told by everybody that it was a great place to work, and that everyone was really nice, and it was interesting. So, that's why I chose to work here.

Alexandra: Great. And since graduating and since coming into this new position, what's the top lesson you've learned since entering the field?

Jack: That things in the field are a lot different than things in the classroom, you know? Where everything in the classroom, like I said before, is nice, and neat, and easy, and organized, in the field, it's just not, and there's so much variation that can go on and so many different things that can happen that if you're just going off of classroom experience, you're not gonna be prepared for it.

Alexandra: Could you go into detail about some of those things that you're mentioning?

Jack: Well, a lot of it is like in the classroom, we assumed that a pump worked perfectly and things like that, but I went to a plant recently where their product was just leaking all over the place because their seals were bad. And that introduces a lot of variability in their process, a lot of inefficiency in their process, and things like that, and that's just not something that we covered at all.

Read the full transcript.

Sponsored Recommendations

2024 State of Technology Report: Motors, Drives & Motion

Motion makes manufacturing move. Motors and drives are at the core of industrial operations. Without them, production comes to a halt. This new State of Technology Report from...

Case Study: Conveyor Solution for Unique Application

Find out how the Motion Automation Intelligence Conveyor Engineering team provided a new and reliable conveyance solution that helped a manufacturer turn downtime into uptime....

2024 State of Technology Report: PLCs & PACs

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) have been a popular method of machine control since the PLC was invented in the late 1960s as a replacement for relay logic. The similarly...

Power Distribution Resource Guide

When it comes to selecting the right power supply, there are many key factors and best practices to consider.