Altec “Take 5” with Michael Holmes
Michael Holmes is one of our prized design associates focusing mainly on body design based out of our Southern location in Birmingham, Ala. Having been with Altec for a little over a year, we wanted to take some time to speak with Michael about his experience at Altec so far. He was kind enough to share the things he enjoys most about his job, the skills he thinks are necessary to be successful as a designer for Altec, and even some surprises he’s encountered.
How long have you worked at Altec?
About a year-and-a-half. Since April of last year.
What skills have been the most beneficial for your career as a designer?
A sense of humor! We kid around a lot and I think it’s almost necessary to relieve some stress. I think it’s important to be able to handle deadlines and pressure well and also be able to roll with the punches. Organization is important and also being able to multi-task. A lot of times I have to make fast decisions so being able to think on your feet helps. Also, being open to suggestions and not afraid to ask for advice from someone who has a lot of experience- and then remembering that advice and applying it to other situations.
Do you have a role model within Altec?
Yes, Grady Blackman and John Duchock. Grady has been here awhile and even though he’s shorter than me, I still look up to him! John just celebrated his 35th year with Altec. They’re both experienced and are very helpful when you need them. They shoot straight with you and tell you what you need to know. I like that because that’s how I grew up.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is seeing the design go from the 3D environment to the final product. Seeing the truck and the finished product and know that my design helped create that is what I like. It’s always been that way for me. My dad was a mechanic and I always loved seeing a bunch of parts turn into the engine that runs the car. The final product is the end result of my processes. Also, the camaraderie among the team is almost like a band of brothers! We aggravate each other, but when you really need anyone they are always there.
Was there anything that surprised you about Altec?
The willingness of the plant employees to help. I could go to them and say that I don’t really understand how something goes together and they will take the time to show me. And above all, just how well Altec treats their employees. I drive an hour to work each day and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy my job and work for a great company.
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