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California State Polytechnic University - Pomona

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Date: Jun 19 2005
Major: Electrical Engineering (This Major's Salary over time)
I’m a 1979 graduate of Cal Poly Pomona. Since graduation, I’ve worked for the Hewlett-Packard Company in various sales, marketing, service and support positions. Today I’m the field operations manager for our Test and Measurement Support and Services business in the Americas Region (U.S., Canada, and Latin America). I manage customer support, education, and consulting services in the region and a team of customer engineers and systems engineers delivering these services to HP customers.

My education and on-campus experience at Cal Poly prepared me for my career at HP in several ways:

First, Cal Poly’s commitment to provide a practical, hands-on technical education was an incredible asset and highly regarded by HP. Although my career path did not require an in-depth theoretical knowledge of electrical, electronic, and computer systems technology, my first job involved consulting with our customers’ engineers to recommend solutions to industry measurement problems. My background and measurement laboratory experience enabled me to move quickly into a field which, at the time, was typically staffed with more senior, industry-experienced engineers.

Also, my active involvement in on-campus associations, honor societies and clubs helped me build some basic, organizational, planning, and leadership skills. These capabilities helped me prepare to deal with the “people issues” necessary to succeed in a highly interactive career in sales and marketing.

In addition, another facet of the ECE program helped build my educational breadth while positioning me for my ultimate career path. I participated in the

specified program of electives
(SPE), offered in one of several “specialties” at the time. My SPE was concentrated in business management, which helped me develop my interest in management and provided a head start in the pursuit of an MBA.

Finally, Cal Poly’s flexible scheduling and proximity to several high tech centers of employment helped me gain industry experience in the test-engineering field while completing my degree, helping me further shape my career choices.

What could have been different about my experience at Cal Poly? Everything I discovered about potential career options during my academic career came from practical experience off campus or from contact with industry recruiters. I would have welcomed more career guidance from the faculty at that time. Hopefully this has changed significantly in 20 years; there are so many challenging and diverse roles where engineers can contribute in industry and society. As an active recruiter for HP at Cal Poly over the years, I’ve tried to bring this perspective to the students I meet.

So what kind of work experiences have I had at HP? During my initial 4 years as a field sales engineer for test and measurement instrumentation, I worked closely with R&D, test engineering, and manufacturing engineers from many Orange County start-up companies, including Western Digital and AST Research. In those days, I sold and supported HP's broad range of Test and Measurement products, with a special emphasis on data acquisition systems and logic analyzers. For the next 2 years, I recruited and managed sales trainees and developed and launched local sales promotion activities in Southern California as a field marketing manager. In 1985, I moved into a market development management role for one HP business group and helped launch the company into the semiconductor test system market while preserving its position in traditional markets like oscilloscopes and voltmeters. Two years later, as a district sales manager, I led a team of 10 sales people, several of whom sold those new test systems into TRW, Unisys, and other accounts from Orange County to San Diego.

In 1979, I relocated to the Bay Area, to launch a new marketing function primarily aimed at developing industry and application-focused marketing programs for test and measurement products in the United States. Several of our target markets included the disc drive industry and high-speed digital design and debug area. In 1984 I became the worldwide marketing manager of the HP division responsible for repair and calibration of our test equipment. This past November, I moved into my current assignment.

It's been a great career so far and my education at Cal Poly made a big difference.

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California State Polytechnic University - Pomona
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