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WFE Interview Report

WFE Interview Report

Ethan Angress 3/5/19
Those Who Develop Society:
Information Interview with Alan Dubrow

Since before engineering was given its name, people changed the way that everyone else around them lived their daily lives. These people have shaped the way that we live today. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of these developers. I had a phone interview with my Great Uncle Alan Dubrow, in which I learned plentiful about what it means to be an engineer. During the interview I learn what it will take to succeed in my major and in the labor force after graduating college.
Mr. Dubrow’s interest for the engineering field stemmed from his precollege work experience. He worked as a “grease monkey”, or mechanic, in his high school days. His fascination for the engines that he was working on led him on the path toward an engineering degree. Discovering how things worked was always an interest for Mr. Dubrow. There was also a little bit of pressure from his parents to go make a living as they did not want him to remain a mechanic for the rest of his life. The interest in engines and parental pressure led him to The City College of New York where he studied mechanical engineering. During college, Mr. Dubrow sought out a mentor and joined the mechanical engineering fraternity known as AME standing for “All Mechanical Engineers.” Along with this, Mr. Dubrow also was the head of ASME, SIE, and other organization in order to be extremely active in college and build his resume. The skills that he learned as part of the fraternity and as a part of the different engineering related organizations helped him to build a resume that allowed him to get a job right out of college.
The active life that Mr. Dubrow had during college led him to receive job offers from all over the country. This was a result of him going to club fairs and sending out his resume to a large amount of companies. Through the advice of his mentor, Mr. Dubrow decided to take a job in New York City. He worked briefly for the Park Department in New York City helping to create a pipeline grid. His purpose was to make sure that pipes did not run into each other, trees, or other in grounded objects. Designing grids and relocating pipes was not where Mr. Dubrow’s heart was. He started his interest in engineering from engines and that is what he wanted to work with.
After working for Boeing due to a summer job, Mr. Dubrow ended up working for Patent Whitney Aircraft. This was his main job before transferring to a few smaller engineering jobs. Mr. Dubrow felt that working as an experimental engineer, “ was the greatest job, you got to work with all parts of the engine.” While Mr. Dubrow worked for this company, they were in the process of designing the first turbine engine for the 747 aircraft. The daily life of an engineer working for Patent Whitney Aircraft was different every day. The shifts that the engineers worked during the week were always different. “Once a week, you had a shift that started at midnight until about 5 A.M.” This was due to the endurance testing that was needed to be done on the engine. One thing that Mr. Dubrow loved about the job was that it was an open office that fostered interaction amongst all of the engineers.
Writing is an extremely important part of an experimental engineer’s life. Lab reports and test reports for the different engine trials were extremely common and lengthy. They were extremely frequent because they had to run an immense amount of tests on the engine. Mr. Dubrow commented that he, “learned the correct way to write these reports at CCNY” and that it was very important to the job. The reports were integral for the projects and needed to be written carefully so that all the different typed of engineers and bosses could understand what failed and what was done to the engine. The skills that he learned in college courses much like writing for engineering greatly helped him to succeed in his career.
Communication is another part of an engineer’s job that is done on a daily basis and carries extreme importance. Due to the open floor plan at patent Whitney Aircraft, an enormous amount of different engineers worked together on the same project to create the engine. The engineers also had to converse with a bunch of consultants for their projects. Communication was made extremely important because everyone had to be on the same page or else there could have been a catastrophic failure when testing the engine. Communication is an extremely important part of being an engineer, which is why many employers stress it as qualities for their candidates.
The final advice that Mr. Dubrow gave to me has resonated with me greatly. This advice included being as active as possible on campus and in engineering based clubs and activities. He specifically stated that I should, “Find a mentor who has influence, such as a teacher, who could recommend me for a job or position.” Companies also search for people who have leadership experience, so it is imperative for any future engineer to find themselves in a leadership role. It is also important to send out resumes as frequently as possible with the right words included in them. The advice that Mr. Dubrow would have gave himself was to, “get experience working with others and to make sure that theory and practice come together. Try to visualize and analyze what you are doing.” Overall, the interview greatly excited me for my future in engineering. I look forward to helping to design new types of engines and equipment such as my Great Uncle did. All of the advice that he gave me will definitely be incorporated into my college life from here and forward.

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