Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Taking a BIM (Building Information Modeling) Course Until December 2014

Hello everyone! I am in the middle of taking a course that is offered through my union hall. I am a member of Local #3 IBEW out of New York City, Westchester County, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. I hold an E-2 electrical license for the state of Connecticut. I did not mention it in my book but I am indeed a proud union member. I never wanted to take the chance of angering the powers at be, within my organization, upon discovering being mentioned in the book. I did not want to take the risk of mentioning my union in the book so I left that out. Therefore, I did not mention my union affiliation or any contractors that I have worked for in the past. My last time I worked with the electrical tools was in March of 2014. My shop ran out of funds for the work we had on the horizon. To my dismay, I had to choose on what to do. I could have taken some time off or jump ship and ask for a layoff. However, that is not the correct union way to take time off. I chose to close my eyes and take a leap of faith. It was right around this time when I was told about this field engineering job opportunity. I was nervous about applying since I never did that type of work in my life. My fear was to jump ship and this opportunity would pass me by due to not being qualified. Then again, if I stayed on the list waiting for a job, I was looking at over 2 years before I would take on another electrician job. I guess I had nothing to lose. This fact did not ease the fear of starting something new in the least bit. I took on the interview and did my best to prove that I was ready and able to learn and become the best at my new job. After a few months of waiting, I was called in for a second interview. I had a less than stellar interview with a project manager boss. I figured that I blew the interview over my butting of heads with the project manager boss. He was asking me questions that I didn't need to know as a project manager. I knew the answers but I refused to answer them since he was trying to embarrass me. He then tried to cut my head off in front of the boss. I calmly shut him down in front of the boss. I could tell that the boss was highly amused by my drive and determination. To my surprise, I was assigned on the spot to learn Auto-CAD by the boss. I was so thrilled at the receipt of this new job!! Not so long afterwards, fear set in. I knew it was game on and I needed to learn fast in order to get past the training phase and be hired on permanently. All I had to do was pay attention...INTENTLY!!! My job has trained me to work in Auto-CAD. It is a computer program that develops blueprints for jobsites. Our jobs in NYC are large in size and budget. Since I work for a large electrical contractor, they can afford to train people. All I had when I got hired on was my field experience as an electrician. I have been now printing out blueprints for about six months now. To my surprise and advantage, I learned very quickly how to navigate through the program. Auto-CAD seemed overwhelming at first. I was able to learn one step at a time....and it came to me!!! Every once in awhile I will run into an issue that I must request guidance. For the most part, I am able to figure out the program on my own. Now that I have learned 2 dimensional blueprinting, it is time for me to learn 3 dimensional. The concept of viewing blueprints like a video game is called BIM aka Building Information Modeling. This certification is state of the art and needed to work within my shop. Some jobs require some form of BIM work in the engineering process. This program is somewhat similar to Auto-CAD but very different. I am learning both Revit and Navisworks. The two work together in an effort to take all elements of a construction job and mesh them all together. The idea is to be able to visually see a finished project of a construction job and plan accordingly. This is supposed to save tremendous amounts of time and money. This is especially true for multi-million dollar projects. I am in week #3 of learning the program. I have another 6 weeks to go. I am fortunate that I have access to the programs at work. I will even be able to apply what I have learned while at work. My goal is to become the best I can be at this job. I must go back to paying attention in class. I hope everyone is having a great week! Cheers! Leslie M. Jasper

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