What It’s Like to be a Woman in Field Service

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Would you like to join as a Field Service Engineer in the Service Team?” My leader, the most respected person in our organization, replied to me when I asked for a change from my current role at the time as a Primary Technical support executive. I knew this wasn’t an easy job but because of the trust I have of him, I smiled at him with a big YES!

My career path took a sudden diversion with this conversation.

Neethi Pothan field service engineer

Starting on September 17th, 2018, I began my career as a Field Service Engineer, ready to explore the world beyond an office desk and laptop. The start of my journey at Schneider was when I was working as a primary technical support executive, providing remote support for clients on troubleshooting.

The start of my journey: Techincal Support

I often wondered how field engineers would handle customers and products (UPS and related equipment), how do they rectify the issues on site. I knew that there would be more to learn and to explore if I were directly in the field. Also, I always think from the client’s side that their issues are my responsibility to solve. One cannot understand other’s feelings unless they stand in other’s shoes. To be frank, I have been always interested to learn and know more about what I am handling, so the transition to my current position is very fitting.

field service at Schneider Electric

During those times, when I was handling customers and their issues via phone calls, chat, or email, I felt that their issue should be resolved by me in the end, no matter what. In order to get the solution, I was in touch with the respective personnel within the organization, with follow-ups and updates to the customer. Customers put great trust in me and Schneider to follow through. I still remember that some customers would only like speaking to me if they needed a solution for their products.

Most of the people I know consider their work as ‘just work’ and they become like a machine with the tasks they need to complete. I never felt the work I was doing was just ‘work’ but that I was exposed to the unlimited access of knowledge.

Next step: Field Service Engineer

During my first visit to one of our major customer sites, where the installation of Symmetra UPS was going on, I felt a little awkward, as the people around me were mostly men. Even though they felt the same ‘awkwardness’ towards me, my team-mates introduced me as “Neethi, our new field engineer”. This was the moment I took a deep breath and found myself as the responsible engineer.

Since my first visit, I have visited more customer sites and they have recognized me as an engineer within a short period of time, and within that short span, to my surprise, they started to contact me for troubleshooting and to answer to their technical queries. More than books, answering customer queries led me to gain more knowledge. I started to visit the sites alone, for resolution and support for customers. I was flabbergasted at some customer sites to find ladies in those places where men only used to work. Even customers have introduced them to me saying they are the first lady who has been appointed for that particular work.

I love being a field service engineer and I wish more people would join the services industry to explore what’s on this side and feel the pride when someone calls you an engineer. Anybody can do anything if they put their mind and brain in it. No work is restricted to any gender.

You could be the next Field Service Engineer or one of our #SEGreatPeople! Check out our website to learn about our careers and apply today at www.se.com/careers

About the Author

Neethi Pothan- Field service engineer at Schneider Electric Neethi is working as a Field Service Engineer located in Bangalore, India. She graduated with Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Kerala University and started her career at Schneider Electric as a technical support executive for Single Phase products. Neethi likes to travel and explore new experiences. Other than being a #SEGreatPeople, Neethi spends her leisure time as a gamer.

Connect with Neethi on LinkedIn.



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  • Madan kumar

    4 years ago

    Awesome Neethi 👏✊👍. I am always thankful for you and proud to have worked with you when I kick started my job with Schneider Electric. 😊😊 #real motivation to go and explore next-level into field services. 😇

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