While in pursuit of a degree in electrical engineering, Luke had to leave school and find a full-time job with benefits as he had turned 25 and wasn’t able to stay on his parent’s health insurance. He went back to school several years later and earned a degree, but Luke’s career search hit every roadblock imaginable, and it wasn’t until he took several chances—one of which was taking a cold call from Leddy Group’s engineering specialist Kendra Palmer—that his luck would turn around.
After leaving college, Luke was working in communications while his wife was building a successful career of her own. When they reached a point where they could live off one income, Luke went back to school to finish his degree. He got hired soon after graduating in 2017, but his position was eliminated one year later.
Luke spent nearly the entire next year searching for a new job in engineering without success. “For whatever reason, my job search was futile,” Luke commented. “I did a lot of interviewing, and I walked away feeling like most of them went well, but nothing came to fruition.” His wife suggested reaching out to Staff Hunters in Portsmouth (now Leddy Group), but since Luke didn’t believe they had engineering opportunities, he didn’t pursue that lead any further.
Fate stepped in, though. Leddy Group’s Senior Staffing Manager Kendra Palmer came upon Luke’s resume on a popular search engine and contacted him to see if she could assist in his search. “We really hit it off,” Luke said of his initial call with Kendra. “She sounded really enthusiastic about my resume and even from that first conversation, she instilled a lot of confidence in me, which I was losing quickly from not being able to find a job.”
The job market on the whole was not ideal for candidates at the time, and Luke and Kendra were unable to find anything in engineering, so Luke took an opportunity in hotel maintenance. He and Kendra kept in touch, and in February of 2021, Kendra contacted him with a potential internship opportunity in process engineering. “I wasn’t exactly looking for an internship,” Luke commented, “but it was with people Kendra had worked with before and she felt it was a good opportunity for me and could help me reach my end goal of becoming an electrical engineer.”
After talking it over with his wife, Luke decided to go for the internship, and while he was quite skilled at in-person interviews, the new world of video interviewing during COVID-19 was an entirely different animal. “During my Zoom call, I kept catching myself making strange faces, and it was so distracting that everything I had prepared for went completely out of my head.” Though Luke was convinced he had blown the interview, it must have gone better than he thought because he was offered the internship that very same day.
During his internship, Luke collaborated with the operational and electrical engineering teams, which gave him the opportunity to network with the electrical engineers and get a good sense of what a career as an electrical engineer would be like. Kendra said, “Luke had taken the initiative to go to the employer after four months and ask them to consider him for an electrical engineering role. Obviously, his employer saw his potential and hired him on. I knew that he had advanced and related experience from his past positions; he just needed to take a risk and go for the role.”
The risk paid off. “For the first time in a long time, I’m using the skills I learned in college and really making a difference in a positive way,” Luke said. “I’m doing something I’m really happy with and proud of. It’s been an extremely positive experience.”
When asked if Luke would use a staffing agency again, he commented, “I wish I had not made that initial assumption about Staff Hunters (now Leddy Group) not having engineering positions and that I had reached out to them. I have told people that Kendra turned my career around. She did a lot of groundwork for me and helped me with my confidence and reassured me that I wasn’t wasting my time.”
It may have taken several years, but Luke is finally doing what he loves because of perseverance, patience, engineering skills, and a strong relationship with Kendra Palmer. We wish you nothing but continued success, Luke!