When I was a Senior at Norwich University in the spring of 1985, I was contemplating what I was going to do after college. I was looking at options to become a USAF jet fighter, interviewed with the NSA, CIA, HP but I simply wasn’t sure. I met with my recruiter Alan Stall. He mentioned that a good friend of his David Hallam, who was also a graduate of Norwich University, had his own consulting engineering company and that Dave was looking to hire a young inexperienced electrical engineer right out of college to learn the ropes in the consulting field. I had no idea what consulting was.
Needless to say, I mailed my resume to Dave and requested an interview. I also believe my recruiter put in a good word for me. At the time, Dave’s office was in Vergennes, VT and he had a partner Bill Corcoran, two mechanicals, an electrical designer and one administrative person. I was so intrigued with what the consulting business was all about; I was convinced I wanted to work for Dave. In addition, Dave was branching off from his Partner to be on his own. His new location was going to be in Burlington, VT which was perfect since I lived in South Burlington. He also took with him his two mechanicals, the electrical designer and the administrative person. He knew I was “pumped” to join the team so he made me an offer of $8.00/hr and I took it. It was a lot better than the $5.50/hr I was making at my part time college job.
I have been with Hallam-ICS ever since. Oh wait, you’re not going to believe it, but I did leave the company in 1988 to sell Life Insurance with my Dad at New York Life. CRAZY! I did pretty well with my Dad but it was 100% commission and it was too much of a roller coaster ride. I called Dave and asked if I could come back. He took me back with open arms. It was about a year and half that I was gone.
Once back, I continued my development from electrical design into Project Management. A passion I have to this day. I remember a project that I grew up on. A project that David Hallam decided to point me as the PM. It was located in South Portland, Maine during the 1994 to 1996 timeframe. The nice perk of the project was that we had a charter plane we used weekly. However, this project was the most “stressful” experience I ever had. The client Project Manager was so ruthless that when he entered the conference room for our weekly status meetings, he would slam the door so hard, ceiling tiles would fall out. But I would never take the experience back. It was a great learning experience for my career. We actually crash landed on our way to one of the status meetings. Dave Hallam was with us. We SURVIVED.
Overall, my time with Hallam has been an exhilarating and a wonderful experience. The culture is incredible. The work-life balance is second to none. The open door, open book atmosphere really lets everyone know that they matter and that their opinion is always important.