What do you do for a living?

Mike Coy, Global Marketing Manager, EDAX

Not too long ago, my daughter asked me to come to her school and give a talk about my job to her Career Investigation class.  The dreaded “What do I do for a living” talk.  Since I have never really been successful explaining that to family and friends who might actually be interested, I was not terribly optimistic that I would be successful with a group of teenagers who would be more interested in their phones, laptops and the class bell.
EDAX Bridge
Nevertheless, I decided to take on the challenge and try to make it something both interesting and helpful to them.  I knew if I started talking about X-ray lines, Kikuchi patterns and (god forbid) quantification algorithms, I would lose them before I finished the first slide.  At that point, I had to ask myself what excites me about my job…and it isn’t necessarily those things either.

I really enjoy visiting our customers, and while we certainly talk about things like resolution and throughput, to me, it is the application of our products that is most exciting.  What materials characterization problems are they solving?  What process needs to be fixed, or monitored, or developed?  What is the final product that they are trying to produce?  Those are the really exciting things about my job at EDAX.  We have customers in a great variety of markets, from automotive to zoology, and everywhere in between, and I’m lucky enough to meet and learn from many of them, and to know that EDAX helps them do their jobs better.
EDAX car
So what do I do for a living?  I don’t design sports cars, but I help make them lighter and more fuel efficient.  I don’t build bridges or skyscrapers, but I help make them stronger and safer.  I don’t discover new medicines, but I help make the process faster and more efficient to help people live longer and be healthier.  Our mission at EDAX is to develop characterization tools to help people to solve the difficult problems and enable the next generation of technology.  And that is pretty exciting to me.

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