My Phone Interview with Mark Gollis

Published: 2021-09-11 16:05:09
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I conducted a phone interview on March 20,2017, with the head mechanist at General Electric headquarters in Erie, Pennsylvania. His name was Mark Gollis and he has worked in this company for nearly 37 years. General Electric is an enormous company that offers a variety of engineering jobs globally throughout the world. This business is responsible for manufacturing and producing thousands of products and components. I feel a job within this company would be very prosperous and fulfilling.
Prior to my interview, I questioned the reality of being able to speak with someone this high up in the company. It took quite a few messages before finally reaching Mark. I was reluctant that my efforts did not go unnoticed or to waste. We chatted briefly on the nature of this assignment and he asked a few questions about my studies. Mark was quite cheerful and full of relevant information. We concluded this small talk and I began with my first question. Career Field
Prior to his job at GE, Mark was only employed by one other company. A family run business located in Meadville, Pennsylvania (only an hour from his current position). There he managed a small business that dealt primarily with engineering of computer parts. He worked within this company for only 4 years upon his access into GE.
Mark was quite surprised that the interview went over so well. Compared to others who had applied for this job, he had less experience. However, his managing work and reputation won GE over along with his proactive attitude and his eye for details. It took only a few hours after this interview before he received the call that he had been hired.
Mark said that he genuinely enjoys most aspects of this job. He claimed his employees are certainly the highlight of his day. He also stated several times throughout this interview how much passion he has for his career. There are several nights that he will continue to create new ideas even off the clock. Mark said that “if you love what you do, you will never stop doing it, even if you aren’t at work”. I inspire to carry a similar work ethic in my future as he. What an admirable man I have chosen to conduct my interview with. Mark claimed the downside to work in engineering fields is the amount of precision it takes for jobs like this. If one simple error occurs, the entire process generally must be done over. This creates a lot of stress for him and others working closely with him.
Environment
General Electric is quite lenient with Mark. Mainly due to his position of course. However, this was certainly not always the case. When he first started, his hours weren’t as flexible, and the dress code was a lot stricter. However, with the passing years they’ve allowed him some leeway in these departments. Mark now can dress as he chooses, although, safety wear is always mandatory when applicable. He basically creates his own schedule. He must work 40+ hours, but can choose the allotted times to do so during a weeks’ time.
His job is extremely independent, but then again it is due to his position. He oversees a couple hundred other people. He sets the standards and production. He oversees quality assurance from time to time also. Although, he is granted such privileges, he’d much rather be treated like everyone else. He never oversteps his roles, rather takes on a better leadership role. Mark feels that employees who are educated correctly and have the possibility for moving up in the company tend to work better and harder.
Occupational Requirements and Experiences
Mark was very concerned with helping me to achieve the knowledge needed for working in fields such as this. He told me to take as many math classes as possible before graduation. He claimed that many of the new hire ons are not very skilled in math, which causes many to lose their jobs. He also suggested a management class or two. All of which I plan to include in my future courses.
Mark travels about once a month for this position. It is mandatory because he oversees operation in other nearby towns. He also helps educate smaller companies alike. Each year the company takes employees to Florida for an enormous business expo. At these events a lot of operations are discussed for the future of the company.
Benefits and Frustrations
When it comes to jobs in the engineering field, a lot of preparations had to take place prior to employment. Mark feels, however, that many of these people have not been trained properly. He said this is the most frustrating situation for him. He claimed that it hurts him when he must fire someone due to poor performance.
Dealing with such frustrations is not always easy for him, but it’s part of the job. He claims it has been easier more recently because he realizes that those who are not a good fit will only harm the company in the future. He deals with these situations logically, because quite frankly, he has no other choice.
Personal Views
Mark first became interested in the engineering field from observing his father. He was also working in this field. One day Mark was in his father study, watching his ideas for the architecture of a new building. From this day forward Mark was determined to also build things and step into his father’s shoes. He became so curious with literature on these topics and has read over 300 books dealing with these issues. Mark received his current job by simply applying. The company was impressed with his knowledge and passion and hired him immediately.
Outlook
There are many advancement opportunities in the engineering fields claimed Mark. It is all based-on performance and ability to adapt to changing circumstances. The higher the degree one holds, will determine how far they can go in a company. Management experience is also a determinant. This is how he received the position he did. Once one is a manager, they can aspire to someday be a CEO or president of the company.
The field is somewhat susceptible to technology taking over jobs. Mark feels that, this is very unlikely, however. His reasoning stems from the fact that this would most likely cost the company more. Engineering is very precise and humans are certainly a better asset and contributor than a machine will ever be. Mark claims that a machine is more efficient, but it cannot generate ideas on how to be more productive, how to save more, or ways to enhance the information data base of engineering.
Advice
Amongst all the advice that was given to me by Mark. I think the most important was his suggestions for my future classes. I think that since he is the head of the mechanical department, he certainly knows what he is talking about. I think that Mark has a lot of great advice that he could give to anyone in this field.
When I asked him if he could refer me to others in this field, he gave me the number of someone working on the designs. Although I have not contacted Mike yet, I plan to. I am very interested in this aspect of the job. I enjoy making things and watching the process of such.
Mark recommended someone with my background to continue to be proactive. He claimed I should receive amazing grades to ensure me a good position. He also claimed that I should stay motivated and always keep up with new ideas in engineering. The field is always changing, and so is our understandings claimed Mark.
Summary
Going into this interview, I wasn’t quite sure as to what to expect. However, Mark has given me more help than I ever could have wished for. His advice and knowledge within the field has impressed me significantly. I have never spoken with someone with a position such as his. I think it is very essential for all students to conduct an interview such as this with someone in their fields of study.
I learned that my field requires a lot. What I mean by this is that many are not equipped for the positon. I feel this is partly due to not having the proper experience or training. My new thoughts of this occupation have only increased. I still feel the same towards everything, just have a bit clearer view.
This interview will be of help when I move on to look for a job. I will now know what is expected of me. I feel a lot of relief about this. I think I have a much better idea of what I need to do to insure my success in the future. Mark was a wonderful help in guiding me.

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