As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re recognizing a few women at AEP who inspire us. In this Q&A series, we share their stories—from how they joined the industry to their inspirations to their advice to other women.
As director of customer experience at AEP Ohio, Angie Rybalt leads a team of 23 employees who respond to all customer concerns that arise in the Columbus area. These customer service representatives address any customer issues by finding solutions and developing strategic plans for how we can improve to better meet your needs. Angie’s team also works to build deeper relationships with our customers and strengthen the bonds that exist within our communities.
Read below as Angie shares more about herself, her job and advice for those interested in a career in energy.
How did you get started?
After I graduated from Ohio State with a business degree, my goal was to get into sales. I followed a group of my friends to a financial company. We were very successful and had a lot of fun, but I grew bored because I didn’t believe in the work I was doing. I wasn’t passionate about my product because I knew it wasn’t the best. There had to be something better.
Now that I’m at AEP Ohio, it’s so easy to be passionate about what we do because keeping the lights on and service we provide is just so vital. My team often helps our customers use electricity more efficiently, reduce their carbon footprint and be more environmentally sustainable. Although some people wonder if we’re convincing our customers to use less of our product, we’re actually helping customers use energy better.
What do you love about your job?
I love the relationship aspect and the opportunity to meet new people. I think if we all took the time to get to know someone and learn their story, the world would be a better place.
Also, I love that every day is different. There are always new technologies to learn and new innovative projects to explore. I know that my job will never be boring.
Who inspires you?
My dad came from Vietnam, and he met my mother when they were teenagers. He came from nothing, but he worked hard, and his work ethic has always driven me. I want to be successful, but I’m okay with working for it and I could never settle for less. For me, there is no other choice and I just focus on enjoying the journey.
What advice would you give to young women looking to pursue a career in energy?
Find a mentor, find a sponsor—find somebody to walk you through the opportunities that are out there. There’s so much you can learn just from talking to people who are in the field. You may not know what you’re passionate about until you talk to someone who’s familiar with the industry and all the career paths that are available.
There are so many brilliant people at AEP Ohio, and I am surrounded by them in so many different areas. There’s a lot of diversity here and so many people to learn from who can help you grow.