Meet Joel Macaspac, one of the Noise Solutions Designers.
Joel has been with Noise Solutions since 2012 and graduated as a mechanical engineering technologist from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2008. Since working at Noise Solutions, he has been given many opportunities to learn, grow and explore his potential. In this Q & A Joel shares his experiences to date.
Tell us about one of the highlights for you in your role at Noise Solutions
Joel: Moving to Calgary, Alberta from the Philippines when I was 8-years-old afforded me more opportunities than I could ever imagine. And working at Noise Solutions is definitely one of them.
Just one month into my job, my manager challenged me to gain a better understanding of my capabilities and to give me that immediate hands-on experience. So, he asked me to jump into a unique project that our senior designer was currently working on at a Lafarge Cement Plant.
One of the largest noise sources at the Lafarge Cement Plant was the K5 Gravel Bed Filter Stack, which is essentially a giant chimney, and Noise Solutions’ job was to find a way to silence it, while keeping the kiln oven cool. The existing cooling fans were very loud so Noise Solutions designed quieter fans to do the job.
What was extra special about these newly designed fans was that they actually looked like rockets! The experience I had working on that project was definitely a highlight for me. It was a big growth opportunity in my career that I really appreciated. We successfully completed the project and met all deadlines.
What opportunities have you been offered since working at Noise Solutions?
Joel: Noise Solutions strongly believes in ‘continuous improvement’, which is one of our four company values:
1) Fun 2) Respect 3) Courage and 4) Continuous Improvement. It’s our goal to work each of these values into our day. What I’d like to focus on here is ‘Continuous Improvement’ because, along with having the opportunity to work with some of our biggest and most challenging projects, like the one with Lafarge in Canada and also working with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the US, I’ve been able to continuously improve my skills since I’ve been here. I’ve been given the opportunity to take a lot of courses for 3D modeling, AutoCAD and various other design courses. In addition, I’ve also taken business courses and safety courses. All of which have been enormous opportunities and highly valuable to me and my role here at Noise Solutions. I also get a chance to participate in different meetings that contribute to the overall success of the company – both internally and externally for our clients. These have been huge opportunities for growth, for learning everything you need to know from how to start a project to finishing it on deadline and with success.
Do you have a routine for your day or certain processes you’ve set up for yourself to be more efficient?
Joel: Yes, I do! When I get into the office, my rule is to make sure I don’t look at emails first thing. I believe if you begin your workday with emails, you instantly lose structure for your day. If someone is sending you an email rather than a phone call, chances are it’s not critically important. So I save checking emails for when I get my day all planned out, and I just incorporate it throughout the day.
Also, every day before I leave work, I review what I did that day and what I need to do tomorrow. I’ll check things that are done off my list, and if they’re not done, I’ll move them to the next day to review in the morning. This helps me make sure that everything is prioritized based on importance. My team also holds a daily check-in at 830 a.m. This gives us an opportunity to talk about what we are doing that day and if any help is needed. From there, I try to work in 90 min intervals with 10 minute breaks in between. During those breaks, which I time on my phone, I read articles about all different kinds of things that aren’t necessarily related to the project I was working on – it’s more related to my interests outside of work. That’s to make sure I don’t burn out throughout the day and my mind stays fresh. If I allow myself to burn out, I can’t contribute my best work. And as I said earlier, it’s important to me that I’m always doing my best work.
Do you have any goals for your job and growth path going forward?
Joel: One thing that I’ve been introduced to recently is ‘intrapreneurship’, not to be confused with ‘entrepreneurship’. Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within an organization. That’s something I’m very interested in at Noise Solutions and it’s something that I’ve been striving for. I’ve already begun to help develop new processes and also re-develop existing processes for the Design department to make us more efficient as a team. My manager has been an advocate and supportive by giving me the opportunity to explore and discover new ideas to implement. He has trusted me to take this on and this is something that I’m really pursuing, and I’ve learned all of that from working here.
In closing, what do you love most about working at Noise Solutions?
Joel: Like I’ve been saying throughout, the wealth of growth opportunities, whether it’s professionally or personally – it’s there. I also love the people that I work with. I don’t feel like they’re just colleagues, they’re also friends. So as I continue to grow within Noise Solutions, I feel like they are always ready to give me all their support. And that is the best recipe for a great company to work for. Everyone meets each other on equal terms, and I love that.
Working at Noise solutions has opened my eyes to my true potential and what I’m capable of. I’m motivated every day to continuously be better in my job. I know I work for a great company – the best in the industry, and with the best co-workers, with the best equipment, and tools.The growth mentality here really inspires me. When people say they hate Mondays, I get excited for Mondays because I get to come to work to do my best at what I do best. Every day is always different experience for me. Either something new comes up or something old comes up that I get to make better or figure out a new approach in design, and that gets me excited!
My father instilled something very important in me. He told me that when I date a lady, make sure that if it doesn’t work out, I leave her a better person than when we first started out. And that’s how I also look at my role at Noise Solutions. NS