Sep 21 2018

Engineer-in-training program provides 'invaluable' experiences

Posted by TransCanada
Engineer-in-training program provides ‘invaluable’ experiences

TransCanada’s engineer-in-training (EIT) program helped Philip Swanson advance quickly to a team lead role

A move from Chicago, Illinois, to Houston, Texas, was not difficult for Philip Swanson, a former engineer-in-training (EIT) who is now the reliability performance team lead for U.S. Gas Operations. Philip, in his sixth year with TransCanada, says the EIT program provided him with opportunities for invaluable field experience and exposure to different parts of the business early in his career which helped him advance to a team lead role.

Philip began his career in TransCanada’s Tinley Park, Illinois, office in 2012 as a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, with a BS in Civil Engineering. In his two years in TransCanada’s EIT program, Philip appreciated the structure and direction provided, as well as the opportunities to network with other early career engineers.He received his Professional Engineer (P.E.) license from the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) in December 2016.

Advancing to a team lead role in April 2017, Philip jumped at the opportunity to lead a fantastic team of performance engineers and technologists. “The U.S. gas reliability performance team collaborates with operations, commercial, and technical services stakeholders, working together to reinvent U.S. Gas compression performance management for the 21st century and build a program that provides safe, available, and optimized compression helping U.S. Gas become nimble, execution focused, results oriented, and customer centric.”  As a bonus, he doesn’t miss the north-east winters.

Key learnings for other new career engineers

When asked what key learnings he would pass to other new career engineers, Philip says:

  • On relationships: “Over my time at TransCanada, I’ve had several official and unofficial mentors. Don’t wait for mentors to find you – be proactive and work to build relationships with individuals who can help you learn and grow. There is some truth to the old adage ‘it’s all about who you know,’ but I really think it is all about who knows you and what they think of you. Bring your best every day. You only get one first impression.”

  • On opportunities: “One of our leaders once said to ‘bloom where you’re planted,’ and it really resonated with me. Make the most of your current role and always seek to add value in everything you do. Take advantage of every work interaction as an opportunity to learn from teammates, leaders, and both internal and external stakeholders.”

  • On P.E. licensure: “For those in the U.S., purchase your P.E. exam reference manual and begin familiarizing yourself with it while still in college or at university.  Sit for your Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) and exams as soon as you possibly can. The eight-hour P.E. exam is pretty brutal.”

Philip continues to seek out opportunities at TransCanada and is excited for a long and value-filled career. “The best part of TransCanada is the people,” says Philip. “I’m proud to be a part of TransCanada – we have a strong culture, values and public reputation, and we provide a valuable service to North America. TransCanada is a terrific place to work.” 

Learn more:

TransCanada currently employs approximately 170 EITs across all lines of business in the U.S. and Canada. The EIT program offers a wide range of opportunities to get hands-on experience and build a rewarding career. To learn more about opportunities for students and new grads, see