Meet Our People: Geo, E3.series Application Engineer in San Francisco, USA
Geo (short for Geoffrey) Ng joined Zuken in 2017 and enjoys the responsibilities and flexibility of his job, the travel opportunities and the “can-do” attitude of the company. He is based in the bay area of San Francisco, California, USA.
I joined Zuken in August of 2017 as an application engineer, having previously worked for Boeing in the defense sector for around four years following my graduation from UCLA. While with Boeing, my coworkers and I had been evaluating a few CAD tools. Coincidentally, a former colleague had already joined Zuken. He spoke highly of the company, so I approached Zuken. I was warmly welcomed to the family and I’ve never looked back!
No day is a “typical” day for an application engineer
Why the career/sector change? What I find most appealing is the diversity of applications for Zuken’s CAD software. As an E3.series application engineer, I get to visit customers and learn how they are using our tools. One visit might be to a specialist vehicle manufacturer, designing harnesses for use in a harsh environment (temperature extremes, vibration, and dirt). The next site visit might be a customer designing harnesses for a semiconductor manufacturer’s clean room. Because of this huge variety of applications, there is no typical day for me at Zuken – and I love that. In my previous job, project work meant I could spend months working on the same thing, which didn’t suit me.
There’s a “can-do” attitude within the company
I like that I travel a lot. And when I’m not on the road or in the air, I get to work from home. On home days I make early starts to have as much overlap with my colleagues in all regions across the US as possible. We’re based all over the country, but our work is not confined to any specific region; we go where the customers need us. I’ve been as far as Cape Canaveral in Florida. I quite enjoy the long-distance trips and will often tag a day or two of vacation onto a business trip.
Whether home or away, the days are long but enjoyable. I do a lot of communicating in my role, as everything is time-sensitive and every customer is important. But I’m not alone in these views. It’s very much the Zuken mindset. We all help each other and there’s a positive, can-do attitude within the company.
They gave me the confidence to do a great job
I received excellent training when I joined Zuken, which largely involved shadowing colleagues that are more experienced as they gave demos and helped customers. About six months into the job, I worked the Zuken Hotline for a while, which was a great experience. It meant I could start helping customers and give something back. Plus I had easy access to more experienced colleagues when I needed additional support. I was learning and teaching at the same time, and I got to see our software in use in a wide variety of amazing industries and applications.
On another note, the level of encouragement in Zuken is amazing. I worked with some seasoned Zuken experts recently and I had to prepare and deliver a presentation to a rather large audience. They supported me and gave me the confidence to do a great job. That’s part of the Zuken culture.
It’s all about helping customers
The Zuken social life is good. Though I work from home, the nearest Zuken office is only about an hour’s drive away, and I participate in many of their social activities. Also, if I’m doing a joint visit with other application engineers we’ll typically go out and do things together in the evening.
Mine is far from a 9 to 5 job because of how I need to fit my activities around the availability of customers and colleagues, but that’s not a bad thing. My job is all about helping customers, solving problems, and being appreciated for doing it. I have my schedule, get to work with some great people and love rolling with the punches. If you’re of a similar nature I can certainly recommend this working life.