Now and then NAASE will be featuring one of our Association Members. This week, we did a Q&A with Mr. Femi Coker, a recent Member.
Femi Coker, Regional Technical Sales Engineer
Dangote Cement Plc
1. How did you go from a Chemical Engineering major and graduate into a technical sales engineer at a manufacturer?
Frankly, I accidentally found myself in the position. I got a lead to apply for the position of Technical Officer through my In-law. Since this was in a manufacturing company and my qualification was an Engineering major, the job function will naturally be at the plant as I didn’t get a chance to see the scope of what I was applying for.I wrote the qualifying exams and went through the interview process.It was after getting the Job that I got to know the scope.I actually wanted a real engineering practice at the cement plant but with time I started enjoying the field aspect of the plant operations.
2. Are sales engineers in high demand currently in Nigeria? Why/ why not?
I would say NO. The sales Engineering role is still misunderstand largely and taken for sales reps or execs. Some other companies don’t even believe in the role.There was a change in management in my Company and the technical sales department was completely scrapped, during which I was moved to a sales officer position. I worked in this role for a year and half before moving to Marketing then back to Technical Sales.
3. What do you enjoy most about being a SE?
The dynamic nature of technical issues that are experienced on the field. The need for continuous learning. The people part of the Engineering practice.As an Engineering major, I am Introvert. I believe most engineers have this trait. It was quite challenging initially to break the ice of having to talk to people on a first meet and not just one but tens of calls per day but this is one aspect I now enjoy a lot.
4. What do you wish the NAASE could help provide to you?
A family. A chartered body recognized globally for SEs. A channel for growth and a ladder to measure how far or fast one is growing in the field.A body of work that will differentiate ordinary SEs from Chartered.