3 min read

My thoughts on ACE, after two years

In searching for a place to begin my career as a soon-to-be engineering graduate, I had several priorities. Among these were opportunities to learn, a comfortable and casual environment, and meaningful work. I found all these qualities in ACE and my two years at the company have only solidified that view. I began my career in the Delaware office and moved to the Gulf Coast office a year later. From what I have seen, the “ACE Way” permeates to all teams in all offices.

As a prospective employee, I was excited to learn about the project-based workflow that is at the core of ACE’s business. Projects can range from a single day of site support, a few weeks spent on a PLC implementation, or a two-year effort to upgrade a DCS. My second day working at ACE I was put on a project for a large pharmaceutical company where I immediately started learning how to design and build HMI applications. I was paired with a dedicated mentor and engineering team who worked to ensure that I could contribute to the project in a meaningful way while still learning new things and challenging my skillset. With every new project I become a more independent engineer and feel more confident in the engineering decisions I make. Project-based work fits my interests well because I can contribute to the whole process from the definition of the system requirements to installation and commissioning. Each project differs in the technology, location, and production process which keep me invested in my work.


 Me, enjoying barbecue with my coworkers.

From the first interview with ACE engineers I felt my priorities aligned with theirs and I was pleased to see that it is still the case after more than two years. I was warmly welcomed as a new member of the team right away. ACE organizes the Current College Graduate (CCG) program in such a way that you are always supported by other members of your CCG class. The CCG class is a small group of recent graduates who start about the same time in the summer after their senior year. It was comforting to have people who were just as new and in unfamiliar territory as myself. This made learning the ACE culture, going through trainings, and adjusting to life as a working professional a little less overwhelming.

Other early-career engineers took me under their wing professionally and personally. Some sat near me all day for the first few months, providing guidance and helping to ensure my day was filled with work that I could take ownership of and that would contribute to the project. They trained me on new technologies and worked to make sure that I was always learning and growing. They were personally invested in getting to know me and invited me to team lunches, happy hours, and extracurricular office activities, like ping pong and holiday festivities.

I grew to know management as quickly as I did the early-career engineers. Management staff is very accessible at ACE and they promote communication among all levels of the organization. Frequently, team leaders and project managers will stop by our work area to talk about the project and work responsibilities but they also take the time to chat about our families, weekend hobbies, and shows we are watching right now.

ACE’s culture promotes community and personal improvement and I enjoy sharing my interests and goals with my colleagues. I always find someone at ACE who is a more avid traveler, a better runner, more handy around the house, or better chef. There is always someone who inspires me to try new things.

In comparing my early career with those of my college friends in other jobs a few things stick out. I was welcomed by the confidence ACE had in my abilities as an engineer right away. I had a lot of specific knowledge to learn and I felt that my mentors and technical leads had enough faith and trust in my abilities to provide me with challenges and opportunities that allowed me to grow my skills and be a productive member of the project team. In my two years at ACE I have learned a great deal about automation because I was given the opportunities to practice my skills every day. While my knowledge base continues to grow stronger, I see just how much there is in front of me in my career at ACE.

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