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This Leader Says Having Courage Is the Secret to Career Success—Here’s Why

By | The Muse Editors |

Lester Childs first discovered he had a knack for engineering back in high school, when he participated in a summer technical enrichment program (STEP) for a few summers.

“This exposure started my curiosity and interest in the field of engineering,” he says. “We explored multiple science-based careers by performing experiments and participating in field assignments with professionals in each of the areas.”

This teenage experience stuck with Childs, eventually leading him to study engineering at Clemson University. “Toward the end of college, I found my calling in controls engineering, which combines aspects of electrical, mechanical, and systems engineering,” Childs says.

Today, Childs is a senior engineering manager at GE, where he’s spent the last 25-plus years of his career.

Here, he shares his journey at GE, why he doesn’t micromanage his team, and what GE is doing to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

What led to your job at GE, and how did you know it would be a good fit?

I was working as a graduate co-op for a controls systems integration company when they made me an offer to become full-time. Two months later, GE purchased the company and my career started here. The opportunities for growth in controls engineering made it a good place to continue my career.

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