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A better world through a systems approach

Interview with John Vantuno, CSEP

Courtney Wright

Sep 25, 2021

SEP Interview 28 - John Vantuno photoThe following questions are from an interview in 2014:

Q1: Describe your current position/role.

John is the requirements manager (using DOORS) at Covidien for an electro-surgical generator. He is in charge of the change control board for systems and software. He also performs system verification testing.

Q2: What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?

John is proud of getting a job in the aerospace field during a tough time for hiring in that area. He is proud of performing integration with the THAAD missile system. He was asked to assist with the effort by completing an interface requirement specification and taking it from an outline to a 95% complete project in one month.

Q3: What is the biggest challenge you face as a Systems Engineer?

John’s greatest challenge is having to manage without authority.

Q4: What advice do you have for individuals starting their career as a Systems Engineer?

John advises that soft skills are just as important as hard skills. As SE soft skills are critical to communicate and be able to make people work together on projects. He suggests reading the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” He also recommends starting a Systems Engineering career early while outside work pressures are not as heavy, and one can build a reputation for the future.

Q5: How do you continue to learn about SE? What professional development activities do you do?

INCOSE symposiums and webinars are very important ways that John continues to learn. Self-study and working with a mentor to further knowledge across other disciplines are other opportunities he pursues to further his SE knowledge.

Q6: What are the next career goals you want to achieve?

In the future John would love to be a Chief Systems Engineer, engineer manager, or someone establishing process across the community.

Q7: What are some of your hobbies/interest outside of work?

John enjoys doing cross fit training, lifting, running, ballroom dancing, racket ball, and model rocketry. 

Q8:  Are there any other final comments you would like to make?

John feels it is difficult to get recognized as an entry Systems Engineer since young engineers do not have the particular hard skills to base their work on.

In 2021, we reached out to Mr. Vantuno to answer more questions:

Q9: Why did you decide to get the SEP certification?

I decided to pursue my SEP certification to be able to benchmark my Systems Engineering experience and knowledge outside my company.

Q10: How does the SEP certification impact your professional career?

I’ve found the SEP certification to help in seeking employment as a Systems Engineer.

Q11: What has surprised you in the past five years related to systems engineering?

I feel as though the body of knowledge in Systems Engineering has been better shared over the past 5 years.

Q12: What job titles have you had other than “Systems Engineer?”

I started my career as a Quality Control Technician and then a Truss Engineer.  But my title has been Systems Engineer for the past 23 years.

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