As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re recognizing a few women at AEP who inspire us.
Dee Swartz first started with AEP as an intern, beginning a 30-year path of jobs that have taught her a toolbox of different skills. She’s designed control panels, sold technical software, welded equipment, wired panels and pulled cable. Her roles have varied, but the love for figuring things out stayed the same. Today as a senior engineer at AEP Ohio she evaluates outages and offers recommendations on how to improve your electric service.
Read below as Dee shares more about herself, her job and her relentless DIY attitude.
Have you always been curious about how things are put together?
Yes. Growing up my cousin had model cars and I loved going to his house to put them together. My dad was a union insulator and he fixed a lot of things with chicken wire and duct tape. I’m not going to lie, a lot of things were patched together at my house.
You say at home you’re constantly assembling, installing and repairing things. Why?
Unless I’m two hundred percent comfortable with the way something is put together, I’m not going to let it go. Sometimes my husband has to tell me to go in the house because I keep pointing out steps he missed. It’s unique but it works for us.
What made you want to become an engineer?
I first thought about being a math teacher since I’ve always been good at math. Then my uncle, who was a plant manager, suggested engineering instead. I had no idea what an engineer did, but once I learned, I was hooked.
Engineering is a male-dominated field. What has that been like for you?
Whether it’s a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter to engineers. Either something makes sense or it doesn’t. Either you’re good at your job or you’re not. If you graduated from school then all the engineers know how hard it was. You made it. You’re allowed to be here.
Want to learn more about a career in energy? Visit AEP.com/Careers.