Career Impact of NC State

Stephen Rea reflects on is years at NC State and the impact playing sports and chairing the university's chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers had on his career.

Interview on 2015-01-26


00:00:00.000 So, when I look back at my years at NC State, I was too young to see how it all fit together, but later in life I saw how it all fit together when I got into my career as an engineer.
00:00:17.298 The soccer provided the competitiveness and, I might add, sense of teamwork,
00:00:25.388 because when you're in a business of more than one - and Heyward, for what they do, is a very large business - you have to work as a team to be successful, so soccer also taught me that.
00:00:39.691 Working with ASME, I had mentioned this previously, but you value the importance of your profession and the contributions it makes, although not broadly recognized by the world.
00:00:59.242 These are things that go on behind the scenes but they do make, as I said, power readily available and cheap.
00:01:09.644 You learn to respect and appreciate those things, and the part I didn't say is that I met a lot of people
00:01:19.698 and there's a number of those people who I do business with. I didn't see that coming.
00:01:27.430 But we have a lot of goodwill from back in that timeframe which makes it easier to talk about solving problems, so ASME helped there.
00:01:38.180 Student government taught me to reach out to your constituency, to find out what's important to them, what problems they have,
00:01:49.139 so you can go back and try to think of what the solutions are and seek others' help to come up with solutions, which is exactly what I do now.
00:01:58.799 Teaching at NC State: being a manufacturer's representative you're teaching your customers about solutions, different technical solutions that might help them solve their problems.
00:02:19.115 So all of those things, unbeknownst to me, all wrapped up into what I do for a living and have done for almost thirty years.