Employee stories: Encouraged to grow
by Mo Kashani, Fibre Optic Lead Design Engineer, 4site.
Although I graduated from Limerick IT with a BSc in engineering in 2009, it would be few more years before I got an engineering job with 4site and pursued my first-choice career. The delay might seem surprising – particularly as my father was an engineer and it was his job that brought us from Iran to Ireland and eventually to Limerick – but the recession was at its deepest.
I had worked part-time in retail as I studied so when the opportunity came up to become a sales manager for a high street chain, I took it. There were other diversions that fed my entrepreneurial spirit, including a brief stint setting up a café and a property refurbishment project, but it was only going to be a matter of time before I pursued a career that suited my problem-solving skills and STEM leaving cert qualifications.
Having had some management experience in other jobs I went back to the Limerick IT and did a one-year course in civil engineering management. After this, I successfully applied to 4site for the position of Graduate Design Engineer.
Innovative work with a focus on problem solving
I was soon working on compiling post-build deign reports for clients, highlighting safety information. The work was interesting but what I soon discovered about 4site is that you never know what’s coming round the corner. Just because you’re doing something one week doesn’t mean you’ll be doing it the next.
Around this time, 4site had won a contract with SIRO to help roll out Ireland’s first fibre-optic broadband network to 50 towns nationwide. Recruited to the team, I was made Fibre Optic Lead Design Engineer and found myself involved in one of the most innovative telecom engineering projects in Europe. We are installing fibre-optic networks within the existing ESB network, either on the overhead infrastructure or using their underground ducting system.
Different buildings and locations require very different solutions; there’s no single solution. Part of my job is to identify the optimal route in terms of cost, performance and time to deploy, and there’s a strong focus on problem solving and quality control. We’ve just come off the back of delivering the service to Navan and Trim before moving on to Waterford.
The work is mostly office based, working on AutoCAD in our Limerick HQ, but at least one day a week I’ll be out at a site meeting or dealing with ancillary issues that arise. The team meetings are all about going out and getting a project overview, identifying potential snags and heading them off before they become a problem. It’s never tedious.
Never a dull moment
There’s no education course in Ireland for telecom engineering so anything you learn you have to learn on the job. I had to embark on steep learning curve at 4site, but it was worth it. I’ve ended up with considerable expertise in a relatively niche discipline.
What’s been interesting is how the company has encouraged my other skills along the way, the entrepreneurial tendencies I showed in previous jobs. I was made chair of a new innovation forum committee, where we look at how to apply new research and innovative practices to our business, to improve performance and deliver even better results to our customers.
All of this makes it the best place I’ve worked. There’s an upper management team here that looks out for you and always offers encouragement. If you have the self-drive and ambition to further your career, they will help you in every possible way. Every day is a challenge and there’s never a dull moment. It’s never mundane and a great job for anyone looking for a personal challenge and the chance to grow and develop their own career path.
If you think you would suit the 4site culture, contact us now. (even if there are no obvious open roles, we want to talk to any analytical problem solvers interested in an engineering job!)