Garrison Hiltz knew his unpaid mechanical engineering internship at a struggling startup would not lead to a paycheck anytime soon. He hopped on Indeed to begin searching for a new role and applied for an intriguing field service engineer opportunity. That position was listed by Leddy Group, so Garrison was immediately contacted by Christine LaFlamme, Staffing Manager in Leddy Group’s Engineering division.
At first, Garrison was skeptical about working with Leddy Group, because he says that with previous staffing firms, “I couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. They just talked over me and it really annoyed me. When Christine reached out, I thought, here we go again!” However, Garrison realized that Christine would offer a more supportive job search experience, because she “was so helpful and kind. She really listened to me instead of just pushing a certain job on me.” “Garrison was a joy to work with,” shares Christine. She says their honest conversations about his passions, interests, and what he did and did not want to do for work helped her “get to know him as an engineer and a person.” Christine learned that Garrison was interested in pursuing a hands-on role working with machines that would complement his mechanical engineering experience and expand his technical knowledge. The engineer role that he originally applied for had the added bonus of global travel, which was very attractive to Garrison – after all, as he says, “It gives me the opportunity to see the world and get paid for it.”
Christine set up an interview for Garrison and it went extremely well. He met people from various departments as he toured the facility and loved the supportive team environment and small company culture. It was clear that the position met all of his criteria and he was excited to hear back. In the meantime, Christine presented other promising job opportunities to Garrison. He kept an open mind and went on additional interviews, even receiving an offer from another company. Fortunately, his top choice was impressed with Garrison’s level of practical experience and offered him the role – as Christine says, they “raved about how intelligent Garrison was and knew that he could fit into their culture easily and learn quickly.” Garrison began his new career as a Field Service Engineer in October of 2022!
The position has proven to be a great fit for Garrison. His coworkers have been very welcoming. He appreciates that his new employer is already very successful, as his previous experience in struggling companies meant poor compensation and limited resources. Garrison is gaining the technical knowledge that he craves as he masters electrical testing, diagnosing problems in machines, and reading wiring diagrams. He looks forward to visiting client sites around the globe. Even his commute is shorter. Christine likes checking in with Garrison to hear all about what he is learning and his ongoing excitement about his new role, saying, “This is why I love what I do.”
Garrison’s advice for people who are interested in pursuing an engineering career is to attend “a technical school as well as look for a job where you can gain a lot of applicable skills in a healthy work environment.” He initially attended a four-year state college before switching to a technical institute that helped prepare him for his future with a more hands-on learning experience and professors that related concepts to real world applications. Garrison also recommends working with Leddy Group, since partnering with Christine led him to a successful new career. As he says, “I was so impressed with Christine. I had just such a wonderful experience.” Congratulations, Garrison!