Today is my last day working at Kohler Power Systems, Generators for the foreseeable future. It was a great ride! I am so thankful to the people that gave me this opportunity. I learned how to use two new peices of software, HyperMesh and ANSYS. I had the chance to work on cost savings projects and with International Building Code requirements. I also got to spend a little time reading technical papers about finite element simulation of welds and structural properties of welds. Basically, it was pretty awesome.
I mean after nearly 12 weeks I am still excited to go to work. I worked with a great group of people. I worked on problems that managed to challenge me and present a new set of skills for me to learn. The materials aspect of it all was rather slim, but I really enjoy structural analysis and design. Honestly, I think that my materials experience along with my finite element experience and structural experience make me a rather potent engineer. While being a contract engineer and moving from place to place is not what I am looking for, my experience thus far has provided me with a rather varied experience which I feel can only benefit me.
Most of all I will miss the people. It is always the people that I miss when I move. The land can be replaced and will continually offer unique aspects that appeal to me. The physical things are replaceable but no two people are the same. Every time I move I miss my friends. Since I know a number of my friends will read this know that I care about you and miss you. I like experiencing new things, but not nearly as much as I like enjoying experiences with my friends.
In many ways this three month long work experience was the best career thing that ever happened to me. After 57 weeks out of engineering I am back in the thick of it! I have experience at another company that is renowned for a high quality product (or at least most expensive in it's market). I can list NASA, Sikorsky, MIT, and now Kohler as places that have paid me for my work. Not bad for a 24 year old. I have heard that many first jobs are not fun for the employee. My experience was the opposite. I had a great time. Additionally, I feel that the things I I learned and the programs that I used while at Kohler were instrumental in getting me the job at John Deere. This experience has been so valuable because of the new skills that I have and the fact that it helped me get a job indefinitely that it would have been worth it to do this job for a whole lot less money than I was paid.
I believe we can never fully appreciate a situation until some amount of time after it is over. This working experience was no different. There are things that I have started to learn from this process that will not sink in for some time. That is part of the fun of life. Learning things about our past that we did not learn in real time.
It was just a great experience. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to experience it. I do not deserve to have this much success, but I guarantee you that I appreciate it. Hopefully you, my readers, read some of the things I wrote while I was unemployed or have been unemployed yourself. No success, in terms of a paycheck or really anything on Earth, is guaranteed. The world is full of gifts. Often the gifts go to those that work really hard, but not necessarily.
Compared to 2010, 2011 is going incredibly well. I have made somewhat more money already than I made in all of 2010. I recently ran a 1:12 half marathon. I have friends. I have family. I have a job, indefinitely. My life is awesome. I hope that in some way you can share in my joy. Sometimes I feel like I am simply bragging about my life to the world, and that is not the point. The point is to demonstrate the things I am learning to do so that you can learn from both my mistakes and my successes and enhance your own life. The problem is that so often the outcome is out of your control or my control and it is harder to learn from something out of your control than some result that you influence. Thank you for reading.