People

2019 30 Under 35 Profile: Devin Miller

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Devin Miller, 28

Devin Miller
28
Warehouse manager; Springfield Electric Supply

Devin Miller first heard about the electrical industry and Springfield Electric from the father of a longtime friend who worked at Springfield.

“His dad was talking to me as soon as I got out of high school about working at the company,” Devin said. “He was talking about a long-range career plan for me.”

At that time, Springfield Electric had an opening for a driver.

“It was an entry-level position to get inside the company,” Devin explained. “He told me, ‘You know, if you’re interested in it, I can put in a good word for you. I’ll get you an application, we can fill it out and I’ll submit it for you.’”

Like many who are new to the electrical industry, Devin had his eyes opened by the overall size of the company and its warehouse.

“My first reaction was that this is a very busy industry,” he said. “Electricians were very demanding, and things had to be done right on time. Very few mistakes can be made. I never had to worry about standing around and trying to find something to do. I really liked staying busy the whole time. It was very challenging right out of the gate.”

He admits too that the very large variety of products was a bit intimidating at first.

“Another reaction I had was there is a lot of material, a very large inventory that I really had not much of a clue of what was what. I mean, as a delivery driver, you load your truck up and you deliver the material. But there was the challenge of knowing exactly what you’re pulling off a shelf. So you need to really learn what you’re doing and what the purpose of that material is.”

While that initial learning curve was steep, it’s a challenge Devin embraced. And one he continues to embrace as he has completed EPEC Bronze and is finishing the NAED’s V.I.P. Management training course.

“V.I.P. Management teaches you about how to handle certain situations on a personal and a professional level combined,” he explained. “It teaches you how to be sensitive to people’s needs to an extent, how to approach difficult situations and have difficult conversations, if necessary.”

Overall, the learning has paid off. Devin started at Springfield in 2012 and progressed after a year and a half into a warehouse role. After a year there, Devin was promoted to be a warehouse manager at Springfield’s East Peoria, Ill., branch. In that position, he wears many different hats.

“I oversee a team of four drivers. I oversee our warehouse associates and three counter salesmen,” he explained. “And if anybody goes on vacation. I’ll do a lot of counter sales, just helping my team out when we’re very busy at the counter,” Devin explained. “I also manage our inventory and take care of all of our branch expenses.”

Devin and his fiancé, Karisa, plan to marry in September 2020. His hobbies, schedule permitting, include hunting and fishing, he said.

“Plus, I’ve been getting into drag racing here in the last probably three or four years,” he said.

Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?

A. The biggest thing I would say is always be striving for success. Even if you fail, try again. Learn from your mistakes. If you fail, get back in and push forward again. And be patient. Sometimes in this industry there are a lot of things that might not happen for you right away. But always give 110% every single day to make sure that when an opportunity arises that it’s basically a no-brainer to make sure that you’re the one that gets that position.

Q. If a young person were to ask you about the electrical industry, what would your answer be? How would you respond?

A. I would say it’s a very promising industry. It’s a very good career to get into because electricity is always going to be needed—until they come up with something that will replace it, which I don’t think will ever happen! It’s a very busy industry. And it’s very challenging. It takes a lot of work to gain a lot of knowledge in this industry. It’s not something that you can just naturally know. It’s something that you have to learn. So it’s a very challenging industry.

 

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Joe Nowlan  is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at jcnowlan@msn.com.

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