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Alexis Clark

Bio photo of Alexis Clark

Structural Field Engineer @ Hilti

As a Structural Field Engineer for Hilti, I bridge the gap between a highly technical background and business understanding - I'm a structural consultant for my clients and business analyst for my team. My daily work utilizes my sociable nature to engage in personal interactions with my clients. My "big picture" shows the difference our team makes in the integrity, productivity, and quality of a jobsite. I'm fulfilled knowing that some of the biggest structures the public uses are structurally sound and of the highest quality and safety. I have limitless opportunities within my $5 billion family that allow me to wear a myriad of hats in different countries around the world.

How I Got Here

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Undergraduate Degree(s): Civil Engineering
Favorite class(es): Forensic Engineering
Changing majors:

I never changed my major, but I did end up adding German as my second major. My fifth and final year of school, I did decide to reduce it to a minor in German, as I wanted to devote more time to my leadership service in ASCE than to the coursework necessary to complete the German major.

Moving from college to career:

It is required to have an engineering degree and some experience to do my job. Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering are typical for my role as a structural consultant. Hilti found me my final year of undergrad through my leadership position in ASCE at UT-Austin. It is necessary to be a person who takes initiative, can relate to and work with others, and who is capable of adapting to different roles and situations.

Career influences:

When the best part of your day at work (whether you're interning or waiting tables, like I did) is discussing any topic with your coworkers, you need to find a career that accommodates your communication and relationship skills with your passion for technical fields. I've always loved the structural world and the German language, but I never considered a job in a sales organization until Hilti came along. Even then, I was unable to recognize this as the perfect opportunity. Luckily, my family and friends helped me realize my needs in my work and that Hilti met all of them: German-based, engineered products, and relationship-based work that translates into successful structural projects.

The Ups and Downs

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PROS:

  • Opportunities to travel and live around the world
  • You get out what you put in (meritocracy)
  • Every single day is completely different
  • Part of my job is forming relationships and working with people of all backgrounds, attitudes, and personalities
  • Flexible hours so long as the job gets done
  • I just wear my Hilti shirt and black or tan bottoms (for those who are like me and aren't the most skilled at dressing fashionably)
  • Limitless career opportunities within the company
  • Business understanding I wouldn't have been able to acquire in a typical design firm
  • My colleagues are sociable, outgoing, and hard-working people
  • Learning something new EVERY day
CONS:
  • There are often too many things to do, and it can be overwhelming. You learn to prioritize and say "no", but it's not easy
  • Because the hours are flexible and I serve engineers, contractors, and my sales representatives, my hours aren't consistent, which can mean very early mornings or very late meetings
  • The weather does not adjust itself to your liking or your schedule, so sometimes it's a little rough. You learn how to dress for all conditions

Recommendations

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It's just as important to know what you don't like as it is to know what you do. Try everything once, and continue doing those you enjoy or find worthwhile.

There will be a job out there, somewhere, that is more suited to you than you can imagine. It may not be the first, but have patience. Even if your first internship or job isn't perfect, take it as a learning experience and absorb everything you can. Never take an opportunity for granted.

Find a community of "your people" and devote yourself to that community. Take your time and try different organizations to see what suits you, but when you find "your family", that group of people who get you and enjoy similar interests, stick with it and feel accountability for its growth and success. You don't have to be the President - just take pride and dedication in something greater than yourself.

To any girl wanting to make a difference, set yourself apart, or follow your most personal dreams: Your most powerful asset will always be confidence. The path to growth and achievement will never be easy or comfortable, but be confident in all that you do. You have so much to give, and you are capable of it all.

Interested in this Career?

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MAJOR ≠ CAREER

Your major does not always determine your career path. Many graduates pursue careers outside their field, depending on their interests and experiences.

EXPERIENCE + DEGREE = CAREER

It’s not just your major that matters! Make yourself marketable by gaining a variety of experiences in college. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.

Contact a Vick Center career counselor today to find out how you can turn your major into a career.