2013-11-06

Uni: The end of the story

I said at the end of my reflection article 'Was completing my bachelor's degree worth it?', that my educational story wasn't over, due to the fact that I hadn't yet completed the last step in evaluating the worth of my education, which was getting a new job.

Well, it finally happened. After years of searching, I finally found a perfect fit.

I haven't mentioned my previous employer, Barnes-Jewish Hospital's Facilities Engineering Department by name often. Initially, because their social media policy prohibited naming the workplace, then, when they revised their policy, I still opted for the continued clarity of posting as me, without needing the constant disclaimers that I was not speaking on behalf of that organization.

I can't say enough good things about what a good company they were to work for. My Manager treated his people well, as did his boss, the Director. We worked independently, and as a team, and I always felt respected within our internal workgroup.
I do make that distinction, because I've had more than a few run-ins over the years and have told funny stories about them whenever I have an opening. Like the guys who asked me to make copies for them, or the one who wanted me to get him a cup of coffee (if I'm standing, I'll offer one, but, if we're all seated and you pick out the one female in the room for that request, you might want to examine your motives, or expand your knowledge of the team with which you're meeting), or the time that I retrieved the impossibly obscure bit of information that no one else would've been able to understand the context of, and some dork tried to give me a $2 tip (yeah, I laughed in his face, handed it back, and told him that my taste runs more toward good scotch than natty light). The ones who tried to give me lectures on how AutoCAD or Revit works (snrk), the ones who asked why a secretary couldn't cover for me when I was out, etc, etc, etc. So, if you've heard me tell these stories, or others, know that they did not come from the Engineers that I worked with. They respected my brain and my experience and my specialized training adequately.

It was a challenge, in my last months, trying to record important things that I'd internalized over the space of the 13 1/2 years that I worked on the engineering staff, as I wanted to leave the place much better than I found it. That was undoubted, as I put in place CAD and BIM standards (and a framework for space standards, once those are needed) and an organized file system, with viewing and plotting stations for the maintenance staff. But, all of the little tips about which firms will try to get away with substandard deliverables, or who will wait until the project is about to begin to ask about existing conditions, etc, and how to handle those effectively... that's invaluable information. Also, my framework and plans and end goal for the BIM implementation, which was only 10% complete. I can but trust that they'll replace me with someone as passionate about being good stewards of the company's long-term resources as they are.

Whew.

It was hard to say goodbye. I grew up there, I learned everything I know.
It was way past time for me to move on to something else, though.

I've since started working in the Facilities department of a financial services company (and, as with my previous employer, I will not be naming them here unless I really need to, as with their social media policy, I want to be clear that I speak from my own experiences and opinions, and am not a spokesperson for my or department). Not as a CAD Manager, but, as a System Administrator for Archibus. Yes, this job did require a Bachelor's Degree.

That is the point of this article. To say, my educational story can now be marked complete, due to this fact.

Even if I hadn't gotten a job that required a 4 year degree, I would still be grateful that I had the experience. The general education courses provided insights and a critical view that I would not have gained through purely technical learning.

Oh, and, although the degree was required, and I had to get past HR screenings and numerous interviews, I was informed of the job and given a good word by a friend in the industry. Because, as we all know, most jobs are found through personal connections, not cold calls. 

Okay, that's enough navel-gazing for now. Back to your regularly scheduled reading
(speaking of reading, have you been catching AUGIWorld Magazine? I've had a new feature in there the past few months, it's called String Theory and is about forums tips and tricks and highlighting good topics from the AUGI membership, very fun. I'll put some links on my content page when I have the time.).
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