Megan Neveling is a Lead Operating Engineer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Megan got her start in the industry seven years ago as an engineer apprentice just a few months before graduating from a vocational high school where she majored in heating ventilation air conditioning and refrigeration.
Erica Overstreet, Able's engineering coordinator, sat down with Megan to ask her a few questions to learn about her experiences:
Why did you choose to study HVAC in high school?
My father was in HVAC and my mother always instilled in me that I could do whatever I wanted as a job to not limit myself. My original plan was to work with my Dad for the small residential HVAC company he was a foreman with, but I had the opportunity to go into building operations.
For those that did not study HVAC in high school, what is some advice you can offer people thinking about entering the engineering trade?
Be curious about how things work, take things apart to see how they work and try to fix them if they’re broken. Get in as an apprentice or maintenance mechanic and be hungry for the information, follow around the contractors onsite and ask them questions and take the opportunity to make your teams day to day easier. BOMI classes are a great start to a formal education on building operation.
What are some challenges you experienced in the advancement of your career and how do you suppose those challenges helped shape who you are today?
At first I didn’t strive for excellence In my career and it wasn’t until having my daughter in 2016 that I started to try and advance to be a good example for her. Trying to better yourself can be a challenge but it made me resilient and it helped me learn to ask for help and empower people to tell me hard truths about myself so I could grow.
It has been said that there is soon to be a shortage of operating engineers, what are some reasons to join the trade and get started in an apprentice program?
The fact that soon qualified and capable operators will soon been in high demand is a reason in and of itself. If you can get your qualifications and certifications in order you will be able to pick the buildings and positions you want. For me it’s about having pride in running a building having a trade that is so expansive, ever changing and challenging is amazing. Every day I get the opportunity to learn new and interesting things about different building systems, and I make a good living off of it too.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
Being able to further my career with Able at my current building has been the biggest accomplishment of career so far, the technology in the my building is innovative and I have a rare opportunity to learn systems that are state of the art in the industry.
What’s your favorite part about Philadelphia?
The history and the diversity! The historic buildings are breathtaking and to imaging that you are walking where our founding fathers once walked is a humbling experience. The diversity of the neighborhoods and the people with in them in the city is something that I’ve always enjoyed.
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