Posted: Oct. 2, 2017
By: Nicole Laidler
Lifelong learning leads to career advancement
Kevin Condorato has always been good at working with machines. His lifelong passion for finding out how things work served him well when he joined TR Electronic in 2004. He has held several different positions during the past 13 years, including Technician, Inside Sales and Technical Supervisor.
With facilities in Canada, the United States and Germany, TR Electronic is a world leader in industrial sensors and automation. The company is also a leader when it comes to investing in employees like Condorato.
To support a renewed focus on on-site application analysis and troubleshooting services for its customers, TR Electronic offered Condorato and a group of his colleagues the opportunity to go back to school.
Earlier this year, Condorato completed his Professional Certificate in Leadership through Western Continuing Studies.
“I graduated from college in 1997, so it had been a long time since I’d been in a classroom,” the 42-year-old says. “But I accepted the challenge and jumped right in.”
With the support of TR Electronic, he was able to complete the seven-course leadership certificate in only six months.
Shortly after, Condorato was promoted to the position of Manager of Engineering and Technical Services. “The promotion was a very welcome surprise,” Condorato says.
Learning new leadership skills not only prepared him to move up the corporate ladder, it ensured a successful transition into the new role. “I’ve always been very good with machines,” he notes. “This certificate prepared me to work with people.”
In his new role with TR Electronic, Condorato is responsible for product engineering services and technical services across North and South America. “As I manage my team of technicians, this training helps me understand where my individual team members are in the development cycle, and that allows me to adjust my approach and leadership style to suit,” he explains.
Condorato has implemented regular one-on-one meetings and a 360-degree review system. “Because I’ve developed a good relationship with the team, they know they can be honest and rate me accurately,” he says.
Paying it forward
In addition to his new role with TR Electronic, Condorato is a mentor for the student robotics team at H.B. Beal Secondary School in London Ontario, a program sponsored by the company.
“TR Electronic’s involvement in this program is one of the most rewarding endeavors in my professional career,” he says. “It gives me the opportunity to help students develop technical skills and problem solving as well as general life skills.”
Condorato says the leadership training he received through Western Continuing Studies has strengthened his ability to support and mentor this next generation of engineers. “I’m imparting what I learned to those students.”
He encourages anyone interested in developing their leadership skills to consider Western Continuing Studies.
The Professional Certificate in Leadership program attracts individuals from a wide range of professional backgrounds and age groups, he notes, which makes the small-group discussions and team building exercises particularly valuable.
“Discussions were always very interesting with a lot of different perspectives available. And the instructors all had a lot of relevant industry experience and were very well prepared,” says Condorato. “Everyone I have spoken with who completed the certificate – both at TR Electronic and people I met through the program – have said it was very beneficial, and enjoyable too.”
“There’s the obvious value in having an additional qualification for your resume,” he adds. “And if it doesn’t help immediately to advance your career, it will certainly help you work more efficiently in your current position.”