National Stuttering Association

Jonathan PomerantzFacilities Engineer

    Jonathan Pomerantz

    Denver, CO
    Facilities Engineer

    Briefly describe your daily job duties.
    As a Facilities Engineer, I’m responsible for maintaining and ensuring the safe operation of our oil & gas processing facilities in Northern Colorado. I interface with Production Operations, Environmental, Health, and Safety teams, and other engineering teams to troubleshoot facility upsets and design retrofits to improve reliability.

    As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
    I am constantly required to communicate detailed technical information to many people every day. It can be frustrating when it takes me longer than other people to communicate that information. I am also often required to present design solutions and proposals to larger groups in meetings. Switching to remote work over the past 18 months has also presented a whole new subset of challenges with communicating more often via calls and video conference rather than in person.

    What are your long-term career aspirations?
    Long term, I hope to continue to develop my technical knowledge in my field and eventually move into a management/mentorship role to lead an engineering team.

    Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process?
    I did. I actually disclosed initially to the recruiters as I was applying for interviews in college, and continued that during the interview process. I usually phrased it as: “You’ll probably notice that I stutter, and this might take me a bit, so I appreciate your time and patience in advance.” Currently, I don’t explicitly disclose very often as I’ve been working with a lot of the same people for a long time who know I stutter. But if a situation arises where I am being misunderstood or interrupted, I’ll disclose in a similar way.

    What is your proudest moment at your current company?
    I don’t have a specific proud moment, but it makes me feel good when I’m selected for new projects and asked for my input despite my speech difficulties. I am proud of how far I’ve come within the company.

    Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
    I’ve found that it has made me a more empathetic person and I can better withhold bias when listening to what a person has to say, regardless of how they say it. It has also pushed me to find ways to compensate where necessary and improve my work performance proportionally in other aspects.

    What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
    I would say to go into it with a positive attitude and know that your stutter doesn’t have to define you and it likely won’t. I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience as a person who stutters in a professional environment. Listen and learn from everyone around you, and when you have something to say, speak up no matter how it comes out or how long it takes you.