"Every person’s career journey is unique. You may change positions, roles, companies or even industries—and that’s good. The job you start with when you’re young may be worlds away from the one you retire from decades later."
- Neil Donovan -
Every Career Journey Is Unique
By Neil Donovan, Manager of Business Development and Distribution
I have had a very rewarding career at Hutchinson. I started working in engineering at the company a few years out of college and quickly became exposed to some of the most challenging design and analysis engineering projects in aerospace. I had much more exposure and responsibility than my friends who worked at larger and more corporate aerospace companies.
By the time I was 30 years old, I was leading the design and development of major helicopter systems. The team welcomed my input on major design issues and implemented my recommendations.
Eventually, I asked to transfer to a different division where I continued to grow in experience and responsibility. I remember I was so young for the level of responsibility I had that customers’ security personnel would laugh at me when I told them who I was there to see. After they confirmed who I was, I became “Mr.” and people started carrying my bags.
Due to various management changes, I decided to get a job with a competitor. This new position came with another raise and an increase in responsibility. I was able to secure this job because of the experience and skills I developed while at Hutchinson, which had also partially funded my MBA.
I worked for different Hutchinson competitors over the next 23 years, becoming involved in all different areas of their businesses. I continued to gain critical knowledge of elastomers, vibration isolation, motion control and how to solve problems for customers.
Many people return to Hutchinson after working at a different company, including me; I came back five years ago. The work we do is still quite difficult on a technical level, and I still get to be involved with solving critical shock, vibration and noise control for some of the greatest customers in the world.
I have friends who did better than I financially, but they retired as soon as they had enough money. I feel sorry for them. I am challenged every day at Hutchinson and have had a very rewarding career.
Human resources or management did not solicit this note. I wrote it myself because I think there are probably younger versions of me out there who would enjoy a similar life experience. If you enjoy difficult technical problems, growing a business and adding value for customers, Hutchinson is a good place to be.