Tell me about your background.
My name is Enri Çobani and I am originally from Albania. I moved to the United States in 2010 and I have been living in Boston ever since. As a little kid, I demonstrated an interest in science and art, an extremely rare combination if you think about it. When it was time for college, I decided that I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps and become an Electrical Engineer. So here I am now, an Electrical Engineer with a good taste in design.
Where did you attend school and what did you study?
I graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. I also graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2018 with a Masters of Science degree in Engineering Management.
Where do you work now and what is your position?
After graduating from Wentworth in August 2014, I started working as a Substation Engineer for Leidos Engineering, a consulting company which operates in the Power-Utility sector. Working in a consulting company has its perks since we are always working for different clients which makes our work more interesting.
Tell us a bit about your position as a Substation Engineer for Leidos Engineering.
Working as a Substation Engineer is a really exciting career, especially if you like to see the product of your work getting constructed. This is a great position that allows me to combine my two interests. While I work on creating schematics for substations, I can also visualize how the site will be laid out and how space works. On a typical day, I would be spending time marking up engineering drawings for various substation projects and working closely with drafters and engineers from various other disciplines. The nice thing that I like about my position is the ability to get involved with different aspects of a project so I am not working on the same type of design over and over again.
What advice would you give to students interested in becoming a Substation Engineer?
For those still in college, I would highly recommend getting involved with every club, organization, and department on campus. The connections you make throughout college will help you widen your networking base once you get out in the real world.
Furthermore, during my first co-op at NSTAR (now called Eversource), I asked my supervisor if he was willing to be my mentor and help me figure out where I wanted to be with my Electrical Engineering degree. Working closely with such a bright engineer helped shape me into who I am today, and I would recommend anyone to find inspiration and mentorship in the people they work or want to work with. Another advice I would give to anyone interested in the power/utility world would be to attend as many networking and technical presentation events offered in this industry as they can. IEEE PES chapter of Boston organizes several events and presentations a year which allow current students, recent graduates, and professionals to learn and discuss topics of current interest while networking. As a matter of fact, I was able to land the interview for my current position through these networking events.
What was your journey like to get where you are today?
Right before graduating college I was naive and thought I had figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was determined that I had found a field of Electrical Engineering that I wanted to pursue as a career. After countless job applications and a few interviews, I was forced to face the reality that I was pigeonholing myself into this single job title. Engineering is a lot more than just one company, one department, and one title. With the help of my mentor, I was able to broaden my search and see what other opportunities were out there for me. After casting a wider net, I was able to land a job as a Substation Engineer at Leidos. Since I already tried to pigeonhole myself into one thing, I always look for a way to advance myself within my current position. In the four years after graduating college, I passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test which is the first step towards becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (PE), received a masters in Engineering Management, and also became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). I truly believe that furthering my education, gaining more experiences, and getting certified in my field opens doors to new and better opportunities.
You’re always running, what motivates you to run?
Unless I am running on a treadmill so I can get my daily step count, I would only be running because I am late for a meeting.
Day in The Life Questions:
What time do you wake up in the morning?
An area that I need to constantly work on, is becoming a morning person. I have always struggled with this since when I can remember. Luckily, I work with a great team that values flexible schedules.
Any morning routines?
Considering that morning are not my fortes, I have to heavily rely on good plans and routines created the night before. Before going to bed, I make a preliminary plan of how my following day will look like. I take a look at my calendar for any upcoming meetings or deadlines so I am always aware of what my day will look like. And once morning comes, I always make sure I have my grilled cheese for breakfast.
Do you listen to podcasts or music in the morning, if so what do you listen to?
Since driverless cars are not allowed in Boston yet, I cannot use my commute time to plan my next vacation. Hence, my morning commute is my ME time. Since I spend quite some time in traffic, I equally enjoy listening to music or podcasts related to my interests. The current podcast that I am listening to is called “Dear HBR” which is an advice show for workplace dilemmas put together from the Harvard Business Review. I find it relatable since it covers a lot of issues that one might face, or has already faced in the workplace. There are discussions about how to motivate others, how to work with difficult people, and many more.
Connect with Enri on LinkedIn!
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