What a Year Looks Like
We are a relatively young company. While the people working behind the scenes have spent decades cultivating their knowledge and talents, there’s still that “new car smell,” to the business. That is to say, everything still feels new and exciting. Opportunities and challenges are constantly keeping us on our toes, and we look forward to the surprises that find us along our journey into guaranteed energy savings.
However, two of our newest recruits have already celebrated a year at Ascendant Facility Partners. They are young and still emboldened by the industry, which they joined straight out of college. We sat down and asked them, “what’s a year look like?” This is how they answered.
From Student to Engineer
We asked Alec Golightly and Nathan Howell, Performance Engineers at AFP, how they ended up at the company.
Alec answers. “I was referred to this company by a close friend, he explained the energy savings industry and gave me a rundown on the type of work I’d be doing, I was immediately intrigued.
I sent in my resume and was fortunate enough to get an interview, upon meeting Russ Litsinger, Managing Principal and getting to know the company dynamic, I immediately knew this is a place I could see myself working and the rest has been history.”
Nathan has a similar origin story. “While still in school, I was good friends with an employee of AFP at that time. When he accepted a position at a different company, he sent a few of his peers’ resumes over to AFP to consider as a replacement. I happened to be one of those resumes.
AFP values young talent. They brought me in for an interview and before I knew it, I was part of the company.”
Nathan is right; keeping your finger on the pulse of the engineering industry, as well as the guaranteed energy savings industry, means bringing young people into the fold. They are adaptable and teachable, but when empowered, they bring a fresh perspective that the old guard might not have.
An Eye Opening First Year
What surprised Nathan and Alec the most during their first year at the company?
“Well,” says Nathan, “I grew up on a commercial chicken farm. Let’s just say things work differently in that industry. My biggest surprise was how intentional things are in the engineering and GESC world. You don’t do anything by accident. Sure, there’s an opportunity to experiment, but when you get down to brass tacks, you measure three times so you can cut once, so to speak.
Safety, design, and even communication are all built to be intentionally transparent, thorough, and precise. It’s been a great environment to learn in.”
Alec is most surprised by the culture. “The biggest surprise was how great it feels to work for a company you actually love. I’ve had plenty of odd jobs in my life; things to simply pay the bills or give me some spending money. When you work at a place that respects you, one which you love and even loves you back, you come into work every day excited.”
It’s Been a Year of Growth
Alec attributes his year-long tenure at AFP to some personal growth. “I’ve grown so much personally in just a year of working as an engineer with AFP. Most of all is my level of confidence. Collaborating and engaging with like-minded people and working with clients toward a common goal has given me such a confidence boost.
My knowledge base has broadened considerably, too. In a real-world engineering setting, you can’t help but learn at least one new thing a day.”
Nathan has felt something similar. “School is great—don’t get me wrong. However, it stops short of teaching you the practical application of what you’re learning. If anything, you learn how to think through things more than you learn how to execute.
Working at AFP has allowed me to apply my skills in a real-world setting. It’s also provided me with a newfound respect for the challenges engineers face and the ingenuity needed to overcome them.”
It’s Exciting to Have an Impact, Especially When You Have Skin in the Game
Nathan brings up a good point. It’s one thing to talk about a project, it’s something entirely different to actually do it. We asked them what has most excited them this past year. Both Alec and Nathan were thrilled to talk about the impact their work has had.
Nathan loves contributing to his community. “Lately, we have had a primary focus on educational facilities. These are the places where the next generation of leaders are educated, where families come together at ball games and play productions, to fellowship and enjoy meaningful conversations with each other.
Moreover, I’m currently working with a school that I went to as a kid. It’s a rewarding job, and I get excited every time I can help find ways to change for the better and then watch the good unfold.”
Alec, coincidentally, is also an alumnus of one of the schools he’s working with. “I am most excited for the opportunity to work on a project that involves my high school. Being able to impact and improve the buildings I grew up in is a good feeling.”
Here’s to Another Year
Alec reflects on the year. “I can still remember my first day like it was yesterday. Since then, we’ve added even more employees, and Nathan and I are actually a part of the interview process for those new hires. Working at AFP and feeling like I’m on the ground floor has taught me a lot about not just engineering, but the business of engineering.”
Nathan has seen the business mature since he’s been here, too. “We’ve streamlined so much of what we do. I love seeing the growth in us as young engineers and I enjoy being part of that process.”
Alec agrees. “We put our clients first, I can’t help but feel like we’re bound to do great things for our community. I’m happy to be a part of it and to watch it unfold.”