Congratulations to FBA’s Women in Fiber Group’s November Woman in Fiber Spotlight, Megan O'Brien!
The Woman in Fiber Spotlight is a special initiative meant to highlight and recognize the different roles and careers for women in fiber, telecom, tech, and construction.
Nominated by two colleagues, Megan O’Brien is an Applications Engineer at Preformed Line Products. Matthew Becker from Preformed Line Products had this to say about Megan: “Traditionally, telecommunications and fiber related jobs were mostly driven by men. Even more so, technical jobs were even skewed more heavily towards men. Megan and other women are bucking this trend as she handles technical related issues and hands-on expertise of fiber related products. It can be a daunting task to enter a room of 25-50 fiber splicers (most of them men), and deliver an application of product in front of them to showcase how the product functions and tips and tricks associated with said product. I have seen it first hand in the field that Megan can hold her own in the industry as she has the patience, technical expertise and personality to handle any situation that arises.”
This Spotlight shines on Megan O’Brien, Applications Engineer at Preformed Line Products.
In Her Own Words
What have you accomplished at Preformed Line Products that you are proud of?
I am most proud of being able to conduct in-person or virtual hands-on products trainings. I walk through from start to finish how to put the fiber optic cases together with network technicians, contractors, and managers. With the deployment of 5G networks it’s critical to make sure that the splice points will be secured for many years. I also work on new product development making sure that the final product can be assembled with ease by a network technician or fiber splicer in the field. I’ve recently received my certification in OSP design through the FBA, which will allow me to further understand todays and future network design and growth.
What is the career path that has led you to this moment?
From an early age, I was always taking things apart and trying to put them back together. Most of the time when they went back together, they did not work. I decided that I should probably learn how to get them to work, so I pursued a career in engineering. While I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, I was working at a local pizza shop, I got a call from PLP and the rest is history. I went from making pizzas to building splice cases to being able to design an OSP fiber network, almost 4 years later I cannot imagine being a member of another industry. Work alongside PLP’s field sales managers and manufacturer representatives have added real world experience that can help me resolve many issues the industry is experiencing today.
What are some key ways that you give back to your community?
I am a firm believer in encouraging young women to pursue a career path in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field. I have volunteered at my high school talking to young women on why it is important to follow your passions no matter where they take you.
How do you feel your work helps to demonstrate or advance different roles for women in the fiber and tech space?
Hopefully being successful in my role will help a male-dominated industry realize that women can hold their own and make a difference. Also to show young women that engineering and hand-on jobs are something that everyone can succeed at. PLP has given me the opportunity to explore different roles within the organization to best serve the fiber industry.
How do you support others in your daily work?
My experience has helped me become a resource for most departments at PLPs, from technical questions to training new hires. Every day I’m working alongside either an engineer or field sales manager on a new product or resolving an issue, I know that what I am doing will benefit somebody. Whether it would be making sure a network technician/fiber splicer installing our product has everything to complete the job in the box or making sure that product arrives to repair storm damage in a small city.