First Step After School

by Chunhai (Jack) Jiao

When I graduated from Northwest A&F University in June 2004, I got my first job as an assistant engineer in TianJin No.1 machine tool works. The government operates the company.  I learned the history of the company. I know this company was set up in 1951. In that time, the Soviet Union supported technology and helped train workers and technicians. So it is a big tech company. It has 2000 employees and 260,000 square meters. I am very proud for being a member of this company.

I went to the company on September 15th. It was a new chapter in my life, because it meant I finished my career as a student and I would become an assistant engineer. I was very excited in that moment. In the first week, every new person was organized together for training. A human resource worker taught us the history, regulations and rules of the company, safe education. Then we would pass examination. I met many new friends.  Some of them and I would work in the same department.

After training week, I stared to be an assistant in the development and research department that belong to one of the factories in the company. There were four senior engineers and three engineers. I thought it would be my best opportunity to learn new knowledge. As a new person, the attitude is very important in the office. I arrived at the office early every day and cleaned the desks, turned on the computers, and bought a daily newspaper for them.

Our supervisor arranged for me to learn with engineer Fu. Fu was a senior engineer.  He had a lot of experience in design machine tools. He was 58 years old.  In 2 years he would retire.  He told me I was the last one who he would teach. Fu did not ask me to do anything at first. He gave me a set of mechanical handbooks. He asked me to read until I could find which book and page to show him whatever he wanted to know.

These books were different from the books I used. It was a big task for me. At most I spend two months reading the books and I made a contents list for the parts that we often use. I kept them in my mind. I appreciated engineer Fu, because when I helped engineers design, I could find the standard parts from those books quickly. Even I did not need to look for them from those books. I knew the size of each part. I saved more time than other new guys who did not spend time to read those books.

Engineer Fu told me to not repeat a task the same way more than three times in the same job without thinking. After repeating three times, you should begin to think if there is a better method to do this job. So when other guys clicked an icon to use some function by the mouse, I practiced using a hot key in AUTOCAD. Because I drew an engineering drawing effectively, our supervisor gave me a lot of design work to do. After a half year, I could design some simple design jobs independently. My teacher Fu and I were advanced employees of our company for two years.

That was a good memory for me. In that period, I grew from a student and became an assistant engineer. I obtained useful knowledge and skills that will always help with my engineering career. Thanks a lot to everyone who affected me and supported me in my life.


Chunhai (Jack) Jiao is from TianJin, China. “I was a mechanical engineer in China. I live in Fort Lee, NJ with my wife. When I arrived at New York by flight in JFK, I was excited. New York is mostly like a big family because there are many people and cultures from different countries.  English is an easy way for communication between the people from different countries. I had learned English to pass an examination, But now I am improving my English for a better life in an English country. It is my pleasure that I can study English in Harlem library.  I appreciate my teacher Myrna Holguin, who is improving our speaking, listening and writing in English, as well as volunteers Julian Kalkstein and Terry Schwadron. They organized us to discuss topics in English and let us know many interesting pieces of knowledge. All of them were the best teachers who encouraged every student to practice and learn English.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s