Meet Our People: Taras, E3.series Application Engineer
Taras Wallace joined Zuken in 2019, having come from a mechanical background. Based in Deptford, New Jersey, USA, Taras recently took some time to sit with me and chat about his experiences here.
I came to Zuken in February of 2019 as an application engineer (AE). Before that, I spent time at both Southco and Smiths Detection as a mechanical design engineer. I learned all about harness design and manufacturing at the latter. In 2018 I spent the first six months of the year traveling throughout Asia figuring out where I wanted my career to go. That experience helped me determine that my dream job had to include teaching, problem-solving, traveling, and preferably working from home. Zuken checked all those boxes, and the rest they say is history!
Living the dream
My typical day starts relatively stress-free, as the commute to my desk is just about 20 feet! Working from my home office gives me flexibility in my schedule and more free time since I’m not stuck in traffic commuting. I can fit in a quick run, or a bike ride before a storm rolls over or to run an errand in the middle of the day when I may have meetings with west coast customers later that evening. My office may be on the east coast, but I support customers all over North America, which allows for many opportunities to visit new places. When traveling for work, the evenings give me a chance to check in with other customers before I head out to explore a new city.
Learning the ropes
Zuken has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that I’ve come to appreciate. It started with my training. To start, the ability to self-teach is incredibly important and valuable for me. In-person training came next, and I was able to meet many of the other team members face to face. Next, I moved on to working on the hotline. It was at this point that I felt like my work was having an immediate impact on our customers’ success.
Along the way, my colleagues requested feedback, listened, and turned it into improvements; as a new AE, that helped me feel like a member of the team. That’s another great part about working at Zuken–my amazing colleagues. Without hesitating, I can ask a question, make a suggestion, or offer feedback to anyone in the company–including the president–and I know I’ll be heard. Being relatively new, if I don’t know the answer to a question, I have plenty of people to rely on to help me. While we may not be sitting in an office building together, I can still reach out to other AEs to collaborate or just to catch up at any time.
Helping customers achieve their end goals and resolve their issues is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Investigating, discovering, and creating new solutions for one customer is valuable work that I can reuse again and again to help other customers. Each day I have the opportunity to learn something new about our software, our customers’ industries, and about myself. I’m looking forward to the time when I can get out there and travel again and meet our customers in person! For now, when I’m not working, I enjoy long walks with my dog, trying new recipes, and figuring out how I can one-bag on my next trip.