Sophia

Apprentice Electrician

“When I graduated high school in 2015, I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to take. I started working toward a degree in graphic design, but early in college, I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was sitting behind a computer all day and it was driving me nuts. I wanted to get out and do something with my hands.

I’d grown up around the skilled trades and was familiar with Windemuller – thanks, in both cases, to my grandpa, Jim Hovey. For 36 years, he ran his own electrical business in Midland, called Hovey Electric. I spent a lot of time around the office as a kid, and knew I liked the feel of that kind of work environment. In 2015, when Hovey Electric was acquired by Windemuller, I got an even bigger window into the skilled trades. So, when I was thinking about taking my career path in that direction, it made a lot of sense to talk with my grandpa and the people he worked with.

Eventually, I decided to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps and enrolled in electrical school. He advised me to put in an application with Windemuller, not necessarily because there was a job opening but just to see what they were looking for. I knew enough about the company at the time to know that they take care of their employees and that I liked the work environment. The day Windemuller offered me a job is a day I’ll always remember, because I’d finally found that sense of belonging that had been missing in my art school days.

Currently, I’m an apprentice electrician with the company, but I have plans to take my journeyman’s exam in the future and hopefully move up the ladder of the company. I feel a lot of support here and know that, no matter where I want to go in my career, my colleagues and supervisors have my back.

That’s a nice feeling to have, because when I started my new job, even knowing what I already did about Windemuller, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. Here I was: a young female professional, at the very beginning of her career, entering an extremely male-dominated industry. What would my colleagues think of me? Would they respect me? Would I ever feel like part of the team? I needn’t have worried. What I’ve learned – aside from the fact that the people at this company are wonderful, collaborative professionals who are more than happy to lend a helping hand – is that you can go a long way just by doing the work. Showing up every day; having a good attitude; being willing to learn; never being afraid to ask questions: these are the hallmarks of success as I see it. Because I’ve embraced these steps, I have never had an experience at Windemuller where I felt left out or on my own. The people here are willing to help others, and it’s why I would always recommend Windemuller as a welcoming environment for women thinking about entering the industry.”