Mike Fishbeck has a strong sense of adventure and a willingness to learn. That combination turned out to be a magic recipe for his career. In this blog, he explains the seemingly unorthodox path he took to be a Lead Belt Technician for ContiTech, an area of Continental’s rubber group.
I was an executive chef.
I went to culinary school in Rhode Island, then got my business management degree to keep an upper hand in the business. I got a job for Loews Resorts as an executive chef. I’d go from South Florida to Santa Cruz to La Jolla to Arizona. All seasonal. I’d be in Tucson during the winter months.
And then Gillette, Wyoming, came into the picture.
My younger brother lives here. I decided to get out of the restaurant industry, so I put in 100 applications at all sorts of places around here. I really didn’t know anything. I heard about Continental from my landlord at the time. His best friend, Robert, was working here. He kind of explained the business to me – the company manufactured conveyor belts and the role involved servicing these belts. Browse similar jobs here.
I thought it was something inside of a grocery store, know what I mean?
I had no idea the large-scale business it is and how large the company is. I really wasn’t freaking out until they hired me. I walked into the shop and thought, wow, this is way beyond me. But I got my hands into it for a couple weeks and I started loving it. I still get to use a knife like a chef – we have to cut these belts by hand all the time. It’s still intimidating at times. There are belts out here that are seven miles long. Twenty feet of it weighs just as much as a car.
They hired me because I was honest in the interview… and probably because I’m a big guy.
I came completely forward during the interview process and told them I didn’t have any idea what this was, but that I can learn. I grew up on a farm, so we did a lot of our own construction and plumbing and electric. We built barns. They took a really big chance on me – and they told me that, but knew I had the skills and could learn the trade.