From Orinda, California, Mark Skallet is a Senior Product Support Engineer at OSIsoft. He specializes in OSIsoft’s software products called Asset Framework and Analytics. Simply put, this is a program that allows a user to build a hierarchical structure of their manufacturing process and then run analytics on the data that their process generates. Mark communicates with software users when they have questions about solving business problems with the product which may not be possible out of the box and with developers as they work out bugs in the software.
Since Mark was able to get into a software related role at OSIsoft without a software background, he is interested in transitioning into software development as a way to build on his skills.
Mark also has some experience working for civil engineering consulting firm, though it was not quite the work he hoped it to be. He also worked in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space for Genentech, a biotech company, for almost two years. While Mark was working for Genentech, he became aware of OSIsoft because one department of Genentech used software that was created by OSIsoft.
Mark went to college and double majored in Physics and Civil Engineering and minored in Biological Science at the University of California, Davis.
How do you motivate others?
I lead by example. It is hard to be lazy and not doing things if your boss or your colleagues are giving it their all. Make sure that people know the benefit that their work is providing. Pull it back to the big picture and the human element. Remind them how what we are doing is going to help others.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I am the youngest of three kids in my family. My siblings and my parents have been role models to me. I have watched their successes and wanted to match that. I have also seen their stumbles and wanted to not make the same mistakes myself.
How do you maintain a solid work/life balance?
In working from home that is difficult. I am working from home because of COVID-19. Normally I am always in the office. I maintain a balance by having things scheduled outside of work. For example, don’t just say I’m going to go for a run sometime this week. I will actually schedule it with somebody to hold myself accountable. My flight lessons help me to do this because I have a set time that I have to be there. It forces me to stop working at a certain time and go do that. Also, I am really into being outdoors.
I like to find interesting trails near where I live and go try them out on the weekends or when I have free time. I like to try new cuisine from other cultures as well. I learn languages in my downtime, either spoken languages or computer languages and also try to keep up with developing stories in the tech sector
What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
A successful leader has the willingness to work harder than those under you. I do believe in leading by example. Just because you are a boss doesn’t mean that you can take it easy. It means you have to work harder than those under you. People who do work under you will see that and respect it.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Be comfortable with not knowing and admitting you don’t know because there is so much out there that you are never going to know everything. The best advice I can give is to be able to tell someone that you don’t know, but then go find out. Speak out on the things that you don’t know so you can learn them.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Work as if someone is always watching over your shoulder so you are not slacking off. Therefore, you always hold yourself accountable and can’t take the easy way out.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment has been graduating from college with two degrees, a degree in Civil Engineering and a degree in Physics, as well as a minor in Biological Sciences, and completing all that work within five years.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
If it were easy, everyone would do it. It is necessary to do the more difficult things to be successful.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
Making sure the people around me, my friends and family, know that they can depend on me. That may mean asking me to do something and I’ll be there or telling me something personal and I’ll keep it to myself and help how I can.
I have an interest in exploring life rather than just sitting back on social media or in my house watching others live it. I would rather explore the world or the places around me, particularly the outdoors.