Five Months After Getting Hired, this Engineer Project Managed a Huge International Project

Alyssa Greenfield
Five Months After Getting Hired, this Engineer Project Managed a Huge International Project
Sponsored by, Gates

Less than six months after joining Gates as a Rotational Engineer, Luke project managed a team of 40 employees across 10 different countries.

How did he end up with so much responsibility so early in his career? Read on for an inside look at the Gates Rotational Engineering Program and the incredible opportunities Luke—who’s now an Applications Engineer—experienced because of it.

Why engineering?
In short, I wanted a challenge, and I wanted to make products that improve lives.

Why Gates?
I’ve worked at other companies that strictly focus on one area of manufacturing like automotive or oil and gas. As I dove into what Gates is about, what drew me in was the global aspect of the work and the diverse markets they work in. I traveled to Japan last week. Next week, I’ll be in Scotland and Germany.

How would you describe the Rotational Engineering Program to someone who’s never heard of it?
The two-year program focuses on exposure [to different career possibilities at Gates]. It introduces you to things you’d never get to see if you were hired directly into a specific role. You get a robust understanding of everything from development to sales and have a chance to figure out how it all ties together. I also moved four times over the course of the program.

What makes the program so valuable?
The ability to collaborate with everyone at Gates. Because of the Rotational Engineering Program, I can work with sales, operations, and development teams and be completely comfortable in all of those scenarios.

How did you get such a big project management responsibility early in your career?
I’ve already lead several international projects. The first one happened because I built a relationship with a VP in the operations department. I joined Gates in June 2015. In November 2015 this VP was launching a team for a global mitigation project but needed more resources to make it successful. Because of that connection, I was able to project manage 40 people from 10 different countries. If you’re ambitious and proactive, you’ll get these types of opportunities at Gates.

Fill in the blank: a recent college grad should apply to the Gates Rotational Program if _______.
They’re independent, ambitious, adaptable, and want to make a difference. It’s great for young engineers who are full of energy and want to do big things. This job was the first time I saw the global impact of my work. Something you’re working on in Detroit has the potential to grow into a project that could have an impact on people in Europe, Southeast Asia, and beyond.

Most memorable day at Gates?
One of the products Gates creates is a belt drive system for bicycles. Our Chief Marketing Officer had the idea to stage a “Buildorama” charity bike-building event during Velorama, Denver’s annual music festival and bike race. The company purchased 50 Gates Carbon Drive belt-equipped bikes and Gates employees worked together to assemble them. When we were done, the company presented them to 7th grade students from a low-income charter school in Denver.

The Gates Rotational Engineering program is an amazing opportunity to get hands-on experience while figuring out exactly where you want to take your engineering career. Ready to get started? They’re hiring now. Head over to WayUp to explore open positions and apply.