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Navigating an Engineer's Journey Through New Roles and Phases of Life

Meet Tyler Malm, VAV Portfolio Leader from Detroit, Michigan. Tyler's tenure has spanned over 13 years, with a variety of experiences and opportunities along the way.
  1. Describe a time when your career took a different turn than you expected?  What’s something you’ve learned as a result?

    I was raised in the Detroit area, colloquially known as the Motor City, where most of the region revolves around the “big three” American automotive companies. My own father worked as an engineer for 30+ years in automotive, so my goal in studying mechanical engineering assumed a career path in the industry.

    After the Great Recession and graduation, I knew I needed to look beyond automotive, and I landed an interview with Trane. I knew [Trane] was a great company, but I had limited knowledge of what a day in the life of a sales engineer looked like. I was offered a position in the New Jersey sales office and took a chance on a role that sounded exciting and challenging.

    I spent 11 years in sales and was lucky enough to find a position where every day was a new challenge and was a deeply rewarding experience. About 4 years into my time as a sales engineer, I realized that I had a passion for coaching and developing other associates. I was given the opportunity to become a team leader and build a team of successful sales engineers. I looked at this as a chance to develop into a future role as a sales leader.

    When the pandemic hit, our family priorities changed, and my wife and I wanted to raise our kids near family in the Detroit area. I was lucky enough to lean on my experience at Trane and pivot into my current role in the product management organization where I currently serve as the leader of the VAV portfolio.

    What I have learned as a result of these unexpected career shifts is that if you find an opportunity to surround yourself with amazing people and continue to be challenged on a day-to-day basis, it can be rewarding experience regardless of the industry that you land in.

  2. What is a characteristic you have found has helped you in your career as an Engineer?  

    I think the most important characteristic that has helped me in my career is a passion for delighting the customer. This served me well when I was in the “front lines” as a sales engineer working directly with customers. However, now that I work with a range of functional areas that all touch the customer experience, sometimes your customer can be internal associates. By staying focused on doing the right thing and taking 100% accountability when things don’t go perfectly, good things will happen.

  3. What drives your passion for engineering?

    My passion for engineering is rooted in solving problems for customers. As I mentioned before, customers can take many forms. All customers are dealing with problems. That is what keeps us employed. By getting to the root of the problem and working with customers to come up with a solution to address them, we will build strong relationships and continue to work together to solve problems into the future.