Briefly describe your daily job duties.
I provide public and private clients with consulting services for drinking water and wastewater treatment, distribution system water quality, and water reuse/recycled water treatment and regulatory guidance. My work typically focuses on controlling lead levels in drinking water, developing water sampling plans for water utilities and river and stream monitoring, and thinking of ways that large water users can reduce their water footprint. My daily duties usually involve lots of spreadsheets, meetings with clients and technical experts and some field work.
As a person who stutters, share the most challenging part of your job.
The most challenging part of my job is presenting to clients and coworkers. It can be especially challenging if I’m presenting on a technical topic with lots of fine details.
Did you self-disclose your stuttering during the job hiring process? If so, how did you do it?
Yes! I disclosed my stuttering in my job interview, which was 6 hours long! Kind of hard to hide for that long. 🙂 Typically, after I have a block I’ll pause and say, “You can probably tell that I have a stutter so just hang in there with me as I get through this.”
Describe how stuttering makes you a better, more valued contributor at work.
I think my stuttering makes me a good listener and you can always count on me to practice heavily before a client meeting or presentation. That doesn’t mean I won’t stutter, but I try to prepare my best to eliminate some of the stress involved with presenting.
What is your proudest moment at your current company?
My proudest moment has to be when I was able to see an engineering design that I worked on in real life. Seeing something from paper come to life is super exciting and rewarding!
What are your long-term career aspirations?
I’d like to continue learning more about controlling lead in drinking water and recycled water and I’d like to get my Professional Engineering license in the next few years.
What’s your best advice for people who stutter just entering the workplace and for those in a career striving to achieve greater success?
My best advice is to share your stutter with your coworkers. By doing so, you eliminate the guess work for your coworkers at why you might not be presenting or communicating with perfect fluency. I’ve often worried that my stutter comes across as unprofessional or as if I haven’t prepared enough, so disclosing lets the client and coworkers know that I’m capable and prepared – I just have a little road block to get over when I speak. I’ve found that my coworkers and the clients we work with are extremely understanding and encouraging.