My Hallam Story
Frank Abel

Base Office: Malta, NY


Arc Flash and Electrical Safety

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Frank Abel | Electrical Engineer

Coming up on my senior year of high school it was time to decide how I wanted my next chapter in life to look. Throughout my lower education I was proficient in factual based courses such as science, mathematics, and history. With college applications and the seemingly permanent decision of what type of career I would like to pursue looming over me, I was very intimidated to say the least. If it was up to me, I would have followed my largest interest at the time which was history. Though, through the counseling of friends and teachers I had come to the realization that the studies I was interested in were not as valuable, both in compensation and job security as a career in other subjects I was proficient in. This being the case, as well as the rest of my friends making their decisions (engineering) already with ease, I decided to follow suit and study engineering in my higher education.

With the field of study decided now came the daunting mission of finding which college I would like to attend. This would be a task I could not conquer. I was not feeling too excited about the responsibility of deciding where I would spend the next four years of my life. I had applied to a few universities last minute but wasn’t able to visit any. I had gotten a few acceptance letters, and with them came the realization that a college education was indeed very very expensive. Seeing the price tag of these colleges that would be complete mysteries to me as well as having no set discipline of engineering I wanted to focus on, I decided that going to a four-year university would not be the best decision for me. I decided to take my studies to the local community college, Hudson Valley (HVCC). This decision allowed me to really delve deeper into finding out what type of engineering I would most enjoy. When first starting out I looked to go into computer engineering due to my interests at the time. Once I learned how much coding would be involved, I quickly changed my sights to a different discipline. The courses on mechanical engineering were fascinating to me and even better I was able to use my hands more often. All was good until I had to take a course on thermodynamics. After that course, I decided I would have to jump ship again to something else. Taking Physics 2 at the time I  was introduced to the basics of circuitry and from that point, I knew that the path of engineering I wanted to follow was electrical.

My two years at Hudson Valley were coming to an end and it was time to set off somewhere new. Still not learning from my first experience applying to college, I failed to visit any this time as well. Luckily for me, I had a large group of friends at HVCC that had already made their decisions to go to the University at Buffalo. I followed suit and started truckin' up to Buffalo as well. Going to such a large city was a huge shock for me. Coming from a small town, I was greeted by what seemed to me, a totally different world. In Buffalo, I would see more people in a day than I probably would in a month’s time back home. Never being around so many people before I decided to make the most of my time in the city. I met lots of cool people and even gained some close friends as well. I fell in love with football again (Go Bills) and worked hard to do the best I could with my studies while enjoying what the city had to offer. Senior year came and it was time to start looking for that “big-boy” job that comes after college. I applied to a few positions that I would see on application websites to no prevail. One day out of the blue I got a message from one site stating that there was an engineering firm in Malta NY that was looking to hire an electrical engineer for arc flash, and that I might be a good fit. Not knowing what arc flash even meant at the time, I reached out to try my luck. I was greeted through the interview process by Justin Houghten. Going through a couple of rounds of interviews I was asked if I would be able to do a group interview. Little did I know the group interview was just that, the entire arc flash group. Although intimidated by the group interview, I got to see all the great people I would be working with and the culture that Hallam brought. It was at that point, I knew Hallam was the place I wanted to be. Luckily for me, I received an offer to start in May of 2022, as soon as I graduated from Buffalo. I felt blessed with the opportunity that Hallam brought to me and after being here for some time I have realized that I was just that.