RSI to NSTAR: Carl Lindsay Shares How Education Empowered a New Career

February 28, 2023

Man with dark hair and a beard.

Stepping into a fab for the first time left Carl Lindsay with not only an unforgettable and lasting impression, but an exciting new career path.

“If you’re ever in a fab, it’s like you’re in a spaceship with robots flying over your head and everything’s white and hollow,” Carl said. “It just amazes me.”

Seeing what a team of experts could accomplish together in a shared space motivated him to pursue a career in the semiconductor industry, an industry that continues to have a growing need for technicians and engineers.

“We’re never not going to need microchips,” Carl said.

Although he did not have prior mechanical or technical experience, he was eager to learn and gain the skills needed to establish a well-respected, stable career. And through the nine-month Electro-Mechanical Technologies program at The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) in Phoenix, Arizona, Carl was able to gain knowledge about electricity, wiring and comfort systems.

I really wanted to understand what was going on,” Carl said. “And RSI teaches the fundamentals of electricity, so you’re actually able to picture the electrons going through wires and understand how components are supposed to work.”

Looking back, he says the knowledge he possesses now compared to before he completed the program is astonishing. Before starting the program, he worked as a server and couldn’t differentiate between a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver. Now he can troubleshoot machinery and equipment just by visualizing the movement of electrons.

Soon after completing the program, he learned about NSTAR’s open positions through a school contact and applied. After successfully attaining his first interview, his work ethic, knowledge and talents earned him a position as an on-site engineer at NSTAR.

He now works alongside engineers with 20 years of experience at one of NSTAR’s semiconductor equipment partners in Arizona. He enjoys working with his team as everyone treats each other as equals, creating a non-stressful and healthy work environment.

“We’re all in this together,” Carl said. “Even our leads on site are at the same level, so you are not having a conflict of power. No one is trying to just make you do stuff.”

With new fabs being built in Arizona, he expects to see newcomers to the industry having plentiful opportunities to succeed and follow their desired career paths like he did.

His advice for anyone from RSI interested in applying to NSTAR is to demonstrate proficiency with electrical diagrams and different components. Being able to showcase this competency will open many doors and take graduates far in their career.

“You can learn how to do things and build things if you want,” Carl said.