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Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/01/2016 5:29 PM

Hey everyone,

I am about to start my first engineering job as a mechanical coordinator for a very large contractor in Ontario, part of a team working on a new subway system. I have experience working in construction as a tradesman, but I was hoping to get some advice from more experienced engineers.

What can I do to prepare for this job, and what kind of software could I get familiar with that would help me? What are some common pitfalls that I could be aware of, and what aspects of the site/project should I pay close attention to?

Basically any advice/experience would be welcome, just trying to do well as an entry level guy, thanks

N. Crewson

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#1

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 5:47 PM

I think the best thing you can do is pay attention to what's going on around you...Learn to glean information from experienced team members....concentrate on particular aspects of the job, and research them....You will probably just be in charge of tools and equipment....maintaining them, keeping track of their location, repair, replacement, new tools for specific jobs etc...You need to keep a list of who has what, and who needs what, what is under repair and what needs to be replaced, and what is lacking.....You need to know what can be repaired, how to repair it, who does it and what it costs and how good they are and how long it takes...So record keeping will be a daily chore and connections to those you depend on to do your job, is essential and critical....Good Luck

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 7:37 PM

Makes sense, I'll look into what kind of equipment they'll be using and how the stuff is maintained/repaired. Thanks for the input!

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#2

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 6:41 PM
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#4
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 8:02 PM

From the links I feel like you're suggesting I should just google it, which I have done. Also I'm reading through each point on these pages and researching each one. For something like "Write specifications for contracted work..", I am reading a guide on how to write such a specification. However, for something like "Monitor crew performances, evaluate personnel..." I would like to get professional advice on how one does this, since there are probably many different strategies from different fields, and the best advice usually comes from experience. I will continue my research, thanks for your input!

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#5
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 9:06 PM

From your original post the only (non) specific information you gave was, "mechanical coordinator; large contractor; part of a team; subway system".

That could mean any of 20 different sets of responsibilities, depending what part of the (large) project you have.

Never having been a part of a, "very large contractor in Ontario, part of a team working on a new subway system", I am done here.

Good luck getting experience with that attitude.

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#8
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/02/2016 12:05 AM

I didn't know I had an attitude, I wish I could be more specific but I don't know anything yet since I start this job in a week from now. From the feedback I'm getting it looks like I'll just have to wait and see exactly what duties I will be responsible for. It's not much but I know more than I did when I posted my question, so thanks again.

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#20
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/03/2016 1:46 PM

I don't get the "attitude" thing either. Anyway, lot's of good advice here and not much that I can add except that communication will be very important in this context. Make sure that you get feedback that your input has been received and understood.

I have been in situations where I thought that what I conveyed was understood, but wasn't, leading to mistakes and delays.

Good luck as you progress!

Keep up the good attitude!

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#21
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/03/2016 6:35 PM

The attitude point was simply this. My wording may have been overly harsh, but that's me.

The guy's going to work building a subway. The company that hired him thought enough of his talents and education to bring him onboard.

Trying to overthink his responsibilities before he even knows what they are will only cause him grief.

I've hired many people who admitted they knew nothing about their new job because of their qualifications. Digging tunnels, building electronics, developing control systems all have their demands and he will learn them in due time. We all did.

He has received much good advice without me and he will be fine, one step at a time.

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#6
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 10:39 PM

Your duties are going to be specific to the job....Your employer will tell you what your job responsibilities are....and the reality of the job may not conform to your expectations or generally accepted descriptions of that job title....The best you can do is say it will probably have to do with tools, equipment, and responsibility....

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#9
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/02/2016 12:08 AM

Yeah I thought I could get a jumpstart on the learning curve before I started the job, but as you say I'll just have to wait and see what the job entails, thanks anyways.

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#7

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/01/2016 11:29 PM

You already have the most important part correct: A desire to learn, seek advice, and do a good job. You can't help but win with that attitude - don't ever lose it.

Having worked as a tradesman yourself, you will have a pretty good feel for what the people you are working with need.

Good Luck!

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#10
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for advice

10/02/2016 12:17 AM

Thanks for the encouragement, was trying to get a step ahead (no free lunches right), but it looks like I need to relax and take things as they come.

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#11

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/02/2016 11:41 AM

Be prepared to do anything they assign to you.

Do not be afraid to ask questions about things you do not know.

Listen to the experienced workers there, about the work that's to be done.

Don't get "political" about any issues.

Take constructive criticism as just that, constructive. Learn from it.

Show respect for your superiors, and your peers.

Enjoy your job!

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#15
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 11:54 AM

A pretty good summary of how I intend to go about things, thanks for the advice!

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#12

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/02/2016 1:40 PM

As a Mechanical Coordinator, I would recommend (in addition to what others have suggested) that you bone up on pertinent safety codes and regulations.

Otherwise, you have a unique perspective due to your experience as a tradesman.

As you know, the guys and gals with the tools are the ones who make the wheels turn. I would advise you to make sure they understand that although you might be in charge, they are the most valuable asset that the company has.

If you have their back, they will have yours, and your job will be much easier.

Good luck in your new endeavor, and congratulations on landing such an exciting job.

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#16
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 12:05 PM

I certainly won't take the tradespeople for granted, especially having been one myself, I suppose all I can do is pay attention to their needs and requests, and check in with them as often as I can.

In terms of code and regulations, do you have suggestion for books or programs for improving my knowledge? I'm solid with electrical code, but very weak on mechanical and HVAC side of things. Should I just get a copy of the NBC and go through it?

Thanks for your input, take care.

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#13

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 12:02 AM

Reading through all the posts and answers my advice is:

1. Relax just do what you want to do.

2. Dont be afraid. Whatever comes to you will come to you. Nobody here can tell you what exactly. But in case you are being hit hard in your new job ( I doubt it) you can refer back to point one.

3. Learn and enjoy. the first one is very important and includes to listen first, think twice and never try to teach anybody who does not seem to be open to be thought. The second point means what it says. If you do not enjoy it or can not seem to see to enjoy it for a very long time - do not do it

In detail: They will tell you what special software they want you to use. But beware there will be users for this software already and there will be a bit of competition going on. Make sure you know the Office software inside out. Nothing worse than asking how to use an Excel Sheet.

So clear your mind, be open, get involved be friendly and avoid confrontations if you can. Your personality will be rated 90% over your abilities in any job.

Good luck!

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#18
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 12:37 PM

Yeah I think 'relax' is some good advice right now, and I know I have a lot of learning to do, I just would like to be an asset as soon as possible. I'll try to be as open and engaging as I can, especially since first impressions are so critical. I agree that it's important to enjoy one's work, I left a career in electrical to pursue engineering so that I would be fulfilled in my job, and I hope it works out that way. Thanks for the advice, take care.

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#14

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 8:36 AM

Come back in a month or two or three and tell us about your experience: what has surprised you, what has frustrated you, what you've learned.

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#19
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Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 12:40 PM

I'll be sure to do that :)

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#17

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/03/2016 12:27 PM

1. Get a Mentor within the workplace.

2. Ask for training within the workplace.

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#22

Re: Graduate Mech. Coordinator - Looking for Advice

10/04/2016 11:19 PM

If it has to do with Metrolinx and the Scarborough line (or really any where in TO) I'd suggest a comfortable pillow as the best software!!

That schmozle makes your average tortise look supersonic.....

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