Sunday, May 4, 2008

I did not ask for the Knack. It just sort of happened...

A few of my friends are wondering how in the world did I end up working for GE Aviation, as I had spent my career in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. Well, GE Aviation is all about engineers. Engineers are people who have a background in mathematics or physics or chemistry or computer science or mechanical/electrical engineering. My undergraduate degree was in chemistry. However, to complete a degree in chemistry, you had to take physics classes. And to complete the physics classes, you had to take mathematics classes. It was a natural progression of things, I suppose. In order to do well in chemistry, I also had to do well in physics and mathematics, so there was a symbiotic relationship between these three disciplines. My siblings all studied things in the social sciences. The degrees for the four of us independently followed were chemistry (me), accounting (brother), political science (sister) and English (brother). All of us have had successful careers, but I was the only one who studied physical sciences.

Most of my career in the Navy, I was assigned to engineering jobs. It was a natural progression that when I transitioned from the military that
I would leverage my knowledge and experiences in engineering. At the end of the day, engineering is engineering. It does not matter if you are designing a spacecraft, or a submarine or a garage door opener. The underlying principles are all the same, rather the medium of the work is different. This is how I ended up working in the Design Assurance group of Digital Systems for GE Aviation. I have a strong engineering background and I can apply my skills to engineering issues for GE.

There have been times when my spouse would look at me after I would explain how something worked, or why I knew how to rewire a light socket or electrical outlet. She would look at me and wonder how in the world did I know how or why something worked. Sometimes I could tell her why, other times I had no real explanation other then to say I know that is how it works. I have the Knack.

8 comments:

Henry said...

Paul,
Some of the same "Knack" about how things work and how to fix them can be gained by growing up on the farm. AND, you'd learn about cows, too!!
H.

Paul's Blog said...

Perhaps, Henry. However, my worry is that I might also pick up some peasant like characteristics! ;->

Lisa and Gary... said...

In other words, you would find corned beef incredibly delicious.

The real question is: Do you know all the words to My Sharona, by....The Knack?

L.

Deirdre said...

I know the words AND I have it on my iPod.

Geeks don't 'get' iPods nor can they dance well. ;)

Paul's Blog said...

Yes, corned beef is an excellent example of peasant food!

And yes, I do know the words to that song. :-)

Henry said...

Corned beef aside. You still need to learn about cows. Would you like one for your yard??

Paul's Blog said...

Only if you will come and milk it. I know about mechanical and electrical things, not livestock. To me, a cow is something you buy in pieces at D&W. Animal husbandry was not offered at Kalamazoo College. :-)

John said...

Go get your Lean Six Sigma Black Belt....then I'll be impressed.