Climate Hiring Playbook!

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Candidate Testimonies: Lorenzo Slay

We recently placed Lorenzo as a Project Lead - Electric Substations at Transcend Software. Lorenzo comes from a background in nuclear power and is excited to use his energy expertise to propel Transcend's projects forward.

Candidate Testimonies: Lorenzo Slay

Meet Lorenzo Slay, a Project Lead at Transcend Software


ARUNA: Hi, I'm Aruna, I am a senior recruiter at Climate People and I am joined by Natalie Lavery our marketing head and Lorenzo slay who we placed recently. Lorenzo thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us about yourself, where you are now and what you do.

LORENZO: Yeah, so, my name is Lorenzo Slay. I'm currently an engineering leader out that Palo Verde Generating Station, which is a Nuclear Generating Station, the largest nuclear generating station in the United States. Currently what I do is I'm responsible for the strategy and design and implementation of new technologies and applications at the Nuclear Power Plant, taking what we had been operating for the last 30 years very safely and reliably and upgrading that to what we can safely and reliably operate for the next 30 years. So that's what I currently do.

ARUNA: That's awesome. So, Lorenzo, I remember after our first conversation and such, I remember a message you sent me saying, I know that I want this job. So what was it about this position that you were so excited about and felt like you know, this is the job that you wanted? Was it related to the climate industry? What was your interest and why?

LORENZO: So you know, it's always exciting when you can find something that combines different parts of your previous experience right into something that you're really excited about moving forward. This job really had that.

Obviously, it allows me to draw on my experience doing design and nuclear power, which is considered to be one of the cleanest forms of power that we can have right now. But what's cool about the job I'm going to be doing is it isn't that it just relies on my design skills, but it'll actually allow me to leverage my experience and background in programming and software design, to take the engineering aspects of what I've done forward into the future.

What we're doing at Transcend is we're trying to disrupt the engineering industry by automating and taking the grunt work out of the upfront engineering, allowing engineers to do more innovative work. Being able to like leverage my past background, and some of my diverse experiences and then take engineering as a whole profession to the next level was something that was really exciting to me, and that's why I really was like, I want to do this.

ARUNA: Now, this job is a little outside of our wheelhouse. We work with companies that are fighting climate change, right. So now, what was your intention when you were looking to move into a climate?

LORENZO: Um, you know, it's funny that you know, I started in my current job directly out of college, right? So I've kind of always been in the nuclear industry. A big part of the nuclear industry is obviously, safety is number one, but what the nuclear industry is really bringing to power in the United States.

Is this clean energy right? Now, no co2 emissions from, the primary side of the other plant. So, that's kind of been ingrained in me, you know, like, socially responsibility. Increasingly that's become important in the dialogue that we have going on in the power industry, right. Everything right now in power is about how do we make it sustainable, how do we make it renewable?

So, when I saw this opportunity, and it's very much being one of the benefits of the technology that this company works on and is developing, is that it can be used to make engineering design more sustainable and allow engineers to explore more technologies that can be used sustainably, that secure sustainably was attractive to me. So it was cool to see that kind of overlap.

NATALIE: Can you touch on which job you'll be taking?

LORENZO: Yeah, I will be a Product Development Lead, I’ll be doing a little bit of product development and project management for Transcend Software company.

They currently have what they call a design generator, which does the conceptual design for wastewater treatment plants. My role at the company will be looking at helping them develop that product further and potentially look at other applications for that design generator. So that's what I'll be doing a little bit of the project management side of that, you know, developing clients and figuring out what other parts of the industry would be interested in, and then helping them actually develop the software product to make that happen.

ARUNA: That's awesome. Now how was your experience working with Climate People and any feedback or any thoughts? On what we can do better or what's your advice to future candidates?

LORENZO: Well, so my experience working with you of Aruna, directly really was very positive. You know what I will say and I've kind of been obviously talking to colleagues, as I've been looking at transitioning out of the company, everyone wants to know where you're going and you know what you're doing. One thing that I don't think I fully appreciated when I first started my job search was the role that a strong recruiting company plays and you being placed at a company and all of the resources and support that you can get if you lean in.

I think that's something that I didn't do a great job of with you, Aruna. Especially, with there being strong interest from my new company, and working through like the details and negotiations of salary and stuff like that. I don't think I leaned in in that way. And I know that you were ready and able to help me with that. As far as like advice to other people that are working with Climate People, you guys definitely have an interest in being involved all the way from identifying the company as a fit all the way through that final contract being signed between the two and making sure both parties are happy. So, staying engaged with you all the way through that process is something that I would recommend to anyone else who's gonna be using your services.

ARUNA: That's awesome. Yeah, so other than placing candidates and mobilizing talent, I'm repeating myself here. We also contribute 1% of our placement fee to a climate nonprofit. So have you chosen? You have two options have you chosen which one you want us to contribute your fee to?

NATALIE: So yeah, we have the Honnold Foundation, which is working with energy, equity, and solar, getting solar distributed throughout the world. And then we also have Soul Fire Farm which focuses on regenerative agriculture and just really helping to end food deserts and all of that.

LORENZO: Yeah. So the first one that was working with solar was the one that I was looking to contribute to. Maybe that's a little bit self-serving, but I know that industry, and looking at what we can do to solve the energy challenges that we have ahead of us as a country and as a global community is really important. So, I hope that this donation will make a good contribution and move us forward in that direction.

ARUNA: Yeah, it's interesting because we place candidates at AGTech companies and they choose the Soul Fire Farm, and candidates from the energy industry tend to choose this one.

I mean, it was fun working with you, and thank you for coming and working in the climate industry. Anything else that you want to say otherwise we can wrap this up?

LORENZO: No, I don't have anything else to add. Obviously, I really appreciate and have enjoyed working with you Aruna, and it's been great to meet you, Natalie. So, good luck to both of you and good luck to the effort that is making a difference when it comes to global climate change.

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