3 Questions with Walker Wind, E’21 Sustainability Consultant, Guidehouse

Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a recurring feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a bit of their experiences and advice. 

Walker Wind, E’21 Guidehouse, Sustainability Consultant

  1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.         

After graduating in May of 2021, I have been working as a Sustainability Consultant at Guidehouse based in Woburn, MA. My team, the Technology, Innovation, and Management team functions within the Energy, Sustainability, and Innovation sector focusing on contracts that support energy efficiency and sustainability standards. Our main contract supports the US Department of Energy’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program, helping to analyze the market and energy efficiency of dozens of different appliance product categories. I have the privilege of doing more of the hands-on work: I use my background knowledge in mechanical design and manufacturing to tear down appliances like boilers, washing machines, and refrigerators to understand their designs and predict how much it cost the manufacturer to build. Balancing consulting and engineering tasks, there is never a dull moment between developing models for pricing our refrigeration compressors and applying some brute force with power tools to open up the inside of a water heater!

  1. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?

The most significant factor in beginning my career came from joining the pre-professional club for Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Our small chapter of the club focused less on aligning with events with the national ASME organization but instead sought to prepare young Tufts MechEs for their careers and bond over many shared interests within the major. By joining this club, I had the opportunity to talk to upperclassmen who had gone through the stressful processes of applying for internships, surviving difficult classes, and figuring out what they want to do after school. I was so motivated by the friendly advice from upperclassmen and fun events being hosted by the club that I decided to apply for the position of President within the club and ended up serving in that role for two years. Through the club, I met professors and mentors, like Brandon Stafford, Chris Rogers, and Robin Kahan that taught me valuable lessons about the importance of networking, never taking yourself too seriously, and always being curious.

I had a very enjoyable time my senior year talking to companies at the fall career fair and consulting networking night: networking over zoom felt a little less daunting :). Through both of those events, I connected with my current manager, a former Jumbo, and bonded over a shared interest in microcontrollers and talking about the competing pizza joints around Tufts. After interviewing with Guidehouse and being placed on the TIM team, I was pleasantly surprised to meet several other Jumbos on the team, along with many other intelligent and friendly coworkers from awesome schools.

  1. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?

If you are interested in pursuing a career in sustainability consulting, consulting, or some type of engineering consulting, I highly suggest trying to expose yourself to as many interesting classes and clubs as you can. I learned so much from taking classes in several different areas, including Engineering Management and Human Factors Engineering. I think the best way to gain practical project management experience is through getting to know a professor and working on a research project for them. Even if the research isn’t something you will pursue forever, the hands-on skills that you learn from taking charge of a project are invaluable.

If you think you may be interested in the work that my team does, please feel free to reach out to me at walkerwind98@gmail.com! My team is hiring right now for full-time positions for seniors and graduate students, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

By Robin Kahan
Robin Kahan Associate Director, Engineering Career Services