ALL4’s Employee Spotlight: Tom Saylor
Posted: October 27th, 2011Author: All4 Staff
Each quarter ALL4 interviews one of our employees, highlighting some of his or her career and thoughts about ALL4. This month’s employee spotlight is on Staff Engineer Tom Saylor.
Why did you pursue a career in the air quality consulting business coming out of college?
In college, I had no idea that there was a world of air quality consulting. I stumbled upon ALL4 at a career fair in my junior year of college. I was pursuing a degree in chemical engineering and I knew that I wanted to find a job in the environmental side of chemical engineering. I remember walking away from that career fair with some curiosity and interest in ALL4. After doing some more research about air quality, I scheduled an Intro to Environmental Engineering course in addition to my chemical engineering courses. I enjoyed it, and knew that I was ready to apply to ALL4 in my senior year for a fulltime engineer position.
What piece of advice would you give to college students looking for a position in the consulting business?
Never stop learning. Consultants work on many different projects for many different companies, day in and day out. In fact, many times, you will find yourself learning as you go. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Rookies can make good consultants because they do not have their minds fixed on a certain set of ideas. They have a fresh set of ideas and an innovative way of thinking.
What are your roles at ALL4?
My primary role at ALL4 is a staff engineer. I work on a variety of projects for clients every day of the week. I also write entries for five (5) jurisdictions for EnviroReview (Not familiar with EnviroReview? Check the website out for more information here). Also, I am a part of the Air Quality Modeling Initiative team. As we grow as a company, we want all of our employees to be proficient in the modeling aspect of air quality. I am on the team that leads this new learning. Finally, I am on the Recess Committee at ALL4. The Recess Committee is in charge of planning company events that build chemistry between the employees and increase the company morale.
What do you like best about your career?
I like the non-complacency. I like how the project work is different each week. Not only is the work different, but the clients are different too. We get the opportunity to work with clients from a plethora of fields, ranging from the cement industry to the chocolate industry. Also, in a small company, there are opportunities to do some extracurricular activities that would not be available to me in a larger company. These activities are also a fun change of pace.
Who is the funniest person in the office and why?
There are a bunch of funny people in the office, but I think that Mr. Robert Kuklentz (Bob) has a stellar sense of humor. Not only does he make timely Seinfeld references, but he also is clever with some one-liners. For instance, I remember my first week on the job (before I really knew everyone); I remember being in a training seminar with Bob. I remember there being a question relating to problem solving. It involved a hypothetical situation in which we worked for NASA and we were working on a rocket-science project. During quality assurance, we found out that the coordinates were off. How would we handle the situation? Bob quickly replied that he would simply “turn them back on.” Comic genius.
What has been your biggest struggle working here?
Learning all of the acronyms. I knew a handful coming out of school (like NAAQS, CERCLA, and NESHAP). But you hear about 50 a day, working in this business…AIMS, RACT, LAER, SMOP, RBLC…. You learn five, then you hear six new ones. It’s crazy. I would like to know them all by the time I retire; I think that should be plausible.
What is the most personally satisfying thing you have accomplished so far?
I am proud to have run an air model on a facility for one of our clients. It is definitely not something that I learned in school, so I’m proud that I could learn the basic ins and outs of air modeling during my first three months here. This is another example on why it is important to keep learning in this business.
What was your biggest surprise since joining ALL4?
The biggest surprise to me is how everyone does work above and beyond billable work. Whether it is joining the Marketing Team, or helping out around the community, everyone participates in one way or another. It is one thing to help out with this extracurricular work, but everyone here does it willingly because they want to see the company succeed. That is a true measure of employee character.
Why did you decide to join ALL4?
Like I mentioned before, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the environmental side of chemical engineering. After researching and interviewing with ALL4, I knew that this company was where I wanted to go. I like the “work hard, play hard” mentality and how well the employees are treated. I knew that I would be happy working for this company.
Who is the best dresser at ALL4?
This is an unfair question. There are so many styles at All4; you can’t group them all into one category and claim that one person dresses better than the rest.
What is the most unique thing about working here?
The most unique thing about ALL4 is the staff of employees that we have working here. You can’t find a better collection of people anywhere else. Everyone works well together and that is essential in a company that relies on teamwork. The setting is also pretty unique. Who else have you talked to that said that their office is an old renovated barn?
I know you like to prognosticate the Penn State football scores each week; give me a prediction for the Nebraska game and a projected record at season’s end.
This will be a great matchup. I’m hoping to go to this game, actually. I think this game will be the host to ESPN’s Gameday that week. Nebraska has a good football team this year, but the advantage goes to Penn State since the game will be at Beaver Stadium, with the best student section in the country. Penn State’s record at home is outstanding, which is why I’m giving them the edge in this matchup. I predict that the score will be PSU-24 NEB-20. At the end of the season, we will have a record of 11-1, JoePa will be preparing his team for the first ever Big Ten Championship game against Michigan State, and the only thing standing between us and a chance at the National Championship will be that loss to Alabama in week 2.