Prioritizing Team Development Across a New Office

Mike Caldwell shares his experience being onboarded remotely and working in our new Chicago office.

Tell me about a typical day in your life at Nexus working in the newly established Chicago office. What is the team dynamic like in Chicago?

It’s a fun feel in the new Chicago office – we are growing and it’s a great atmosphere to work in. We go out to lunch often and frequently stop by the office that we will be moving into this Fall. It’s a good team dynamic, and we will continue to build on that.  

As far as a typical day, it depends on what clients and projects we’re working on that week. Usually, I’ll work on specifying equipment for a replacement job which requires looking through scan files or point clouds to define what the existing conditions are in the field.  We do this in order to find a replacement, whether it be a shell head or refractory lined piping. We also look for areas in which we can specify new equipment, such as air compressors, filters and all sorts of different mechanical equipment. 

Onboarding can be a difficult and daunting process. In your unique case, you were onboarded to Nexus in a remote environment from the Chicago office. Can you tell us about your onboarding experience and what you found most helpful? 

My onboarding experience has been terrific from day one. I immediately felt like an integral part of the team. My manager, Bill Shivak, has been terrific.  He has a great knowledge base to draw from for all sorts of different projects. John Falsey, Mechanical Engineer, has taken the time to review Nexus-specific procedures with me, and share how his team manages different projects and keeps the projects organized. 

Why did you want to be a part of starting up an office in Chicago for Nexus? What was attractive about this opportunity?

When I met the great people in Cleveland, I knew that was the type of team I wanted to help build in Chicago. Bringing the same energy to a new office that is close to home for me is an exciting opportunity.  I want to be part of extending the foundation that Nexus has created to a new city and building a team that has the same company culture. Nexus is growing and it is fun to be part of that! 

How have you handled the reporting relationship with you being in Chicago and your manager in Cleveland? How would you describe your experience?

My relationship with Bill has been great. Early in the interview process, he accurately and authentically defined what Nexus was all about.  Once hired, we continued to talk about culture, what Nexus’ capabilities are, and what the path forward is for me.   

One thing I’d like to compliment Nexus on is that they felt it was important to bring me to Cleveland to meet the Team in-person; there really is no substitute for this.  It was nice to go to Cleveland and meet the entire Team and my Manager so I could begin to establish a rapport and get comfortable with everyone.  Team members from Cleveland have come to the Chicago office and it’s nice to feel that support. Having them here in the office, grabbing lunch, sitting down together is important. It truly makes me feel like we are all “one team” regardless of location, and that everyone has an integral part to play.    

For engineers looking for a change in direction or company, what’s your one key piece of advice?

I would say that a key piece of advice is to know what you’re looking for, think about where you’re at now, and where you want to be in the future. I think one thing specifically that made Nexus stand out was that there is a lot of different and diverse project work – I knew that was exactly what I wanted.  


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