Q+A with Deondre Washington, Senior Electrical Designer (Dearborn)
How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?
I generally tell people that I am responsible for the design and coordination of all things electrical in a commercial or industrial building. When they look at me funny, I tell them from the lighting to the plugs to the electrical panels to the fire alarm devices and everything electrical in between are my responsibility. The normal response is, “Wow, that’s pretty cool.”
Why did you decide to become an engineer?
Around the age of five, I had told my parents I wanted to be an architect because I love big fancy houses and I wanted to design them when I grew up. I remember spending hours drawings houses and as I got older, I started doing actual floor plans to match the exterior views I had always drawn. It wasn’t until high school that I started getting interested in electrical engineering and the design and placement of electrical components.
How would you describe life at Ghafari?
I have worked in this industry for 20 years, with the last four being at Ghafari, and I can honestly say that I have truly enjoyed my time here. We have a group of highly qualified professionals unlike anything I have experienced at any other firm. The atmosphere has always been warm and welcoming, there is never a lack of good food and healthy snacks, and opportunities to grow and expand are always present.
I think it is safe to say that going through this pandemic has been strange and certainly not business as usual. However, I feel we have all adapted very well and have not missed a beat on collaboration and maintaining the same atmosphere as if we were all still full-time in the office.
What is the most exciting thing that has happened during your time here?
It’s hard to narrow down one thing in particular, but I would say being asked to lead the electrical efforts with the Commercial Group supporting Ford Land has been an honor and has certainly marked the beginning of a very exciting chapter for me and my career here at Ghafari.
What is a key idea or lesson you have learned while working at Ghafari?
I would say that even though we as a company are made up of many individuals, disciplines, groups, backgrounds and responsibilities, we are all one team. We are encouraged to seek out help and guidance when needed and to also be the one to provide help and guidance to others. None of us are in this alone; we all depend on our teammates to accomplish the same goal.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I really enjoy spending time with my seven year old son, and with my family. I am really into music (both listening to it and playing it). I have played the drums since my teens, and I have often wished I knew how to play other instruments; however I can’t deny the therapeutic relief that often comes with beating on a set of drums. It’s a great stress reliever!