ORR Associates come from many different backgrounds and careers. We have retired military, police officers and safety inspectors walking our halls and working on our teams. Other Associates joined us seeking a second career after attending night classes, and some are student interns just getting started in their chosen field. Regardless of our backgrounds, it's the diverse history of each of us that fuses us together to make one large family. This week, we trace the journey of Chris, a Field Service Technician operating out of New York and New Jersey, and learn about how he came to ORR.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Chris: "I was born in Queens but raised in New Jersey my entire life. From a young age, I was involved with robotics and electronics. I got my start during a summer program at the local high school where I took some robotics courses. My dad would also buy me little electronic sets to introduce me to configurations and tools. I always knew I had a knack for electronics.
After high school, I tried college but it wasn't working out for me so I left to pursue other jobs. To start, I learned a lot about customer service working at a pet boarding place. I then switched to a distributor where I tried my hand in many roles throughout the company. I did shipping, handling, receiving, customer service on the floor and even a little on the register.
After a couple of years, I decided it was time to make a career switch. I applied to Lincoln Technical Institute, got accepted and decided to take up the electronic service technician program. I absolutely loved the program from the get-go. The classes I took gave me my strong background in fire, wiring, power tools and security. Lincoln Tech is also how I found and got hired on at ORR. I've been with ORR for about five months and haven't had a dull day yet."
How did you know it was time to make a career switch?
Chris: "I decided the job I was in was no longer for me so I began looking at a few different schools in the area. As I was doing my research, Lincoln stuck out as the right fit. I liked that every class was hands-on, teaching us rather than just relying on a textbook. During any given class, we could be wiring small electronics, using the power tools or learning safety procedures. Once I completed my courses, I gave Lincoln Tech career services my application and they put me in touch with ORR."
What is a typical day like for you?
Chris: "No day is average and every job is different. I live in New Jersey, so I talk with my team the night before to strategize taking the ORR van into New York City. We wake up early to beat the traffic and get into the city around 8am. We service a lot of data centers; there are some major telecommunication providers that are our customers.
Once we're at the site, we introduce ourselves to the main point of contact and check in with security. We do a lot of surveys and first time testing. Sometimes we start with a visual inspection and then schedule a time to come back and work on what we found. At the end of a visit, we send our reports to our manager and give him a recap of our day.
I love going to work with my coworkers; they're extremely nice, helpful and caring. And ORR Corporation as a whole is a very caring company. With past employers I felt like I was just a number and the bottom line was the only thing that mattered. It's refreshing to be at ORR with people who care about you, your well-being and your progression in your career."
What advice do you have for techs just starting out?
Chris: "Learn the iPad and how to access reports; it's a big part of our job. Don't mind traffic too much; be a defensive driver."
Any insight for those currently in the application process?
Chris: "Be patient, the application process takes time. Be open to learning, everyone has a wealth of knowledge, so soak up as much information as you can. For any job, the money will come but you have to enjoy what you're doing and be willing to get up early, be on time, and be professional."