In Trenque Lauquen I had two different vocational experiences. One of them was to visit the Electric Cooperative, which provides much more than electiricty to the community and the other was to visit the local technical university ???Universidad Tecnolog??a Nacional???.
At the Electric Coop, I met with the General Manager and a few of the engineers. They showed me the control room and the large map where they can see the status of each of the electrical lines. They have a team on call at all times to ensure the town has stable power. What I saw with regards to the electrical distribution was what I expected to see, but the other services the Coop offers surprised me.
First, they have a store where they sell appliances, electronic equipment and furniture. Coop customers can purchase items at the store showing their statement, proving they pay their bills on time and they can buy items from the store essentially on credit, adding the payment to their electricity bill. Additionally all customers pay a small funeral fee every month. This fee allows all Trenque Lauquen residents to have a basic, but nice funeral and burial, which is paid for. The Coop has the hall where they have rooms for services and receptions. Many of the Trenque Lauquen residents told me that the addition of this service really relieved community members as they knew when they passed away they would have services and that their loved ones would not be burdened with a big bill.
I also had the opportunity to talk at the local technical university to students and a couple of professors about my career at HP. This was actually quite a challenge for me as I had only one day???s notice to think about what I wanted to share and I also got nervous when I saw they had advertised my visit in the local paper. I spoke in front of about 30-35 people and shared my educational background, described the role that the HP Boise site plays in the company???s business, the variety of roles I have held at the company, then answered their questions. The audience was mostly interested in how engineers are educated in the US and how the interview process works for a company like HP.
Both experiences were very fun and educational. Thanks to those who hosted me!