Fluid Power Journal

A Different Perspective: An Interview with Alexandra “Alex” Bibaeff, CFPHS, a Newly Certified Hydraulic Specialist

Alex is currently a customer service representative (inside sales) at Motion Industries in Pasadena, TX.

How did you first become involved in the fluid power industry?

Well, I think I became involved in the fluid power industry when I was just a wee thing. My father was finishing up his degree in mechanical engineering, and, with every one’s busy schedules, I would sometimes end up going to class with him. His career path led in toward fluid power. In 2013 I entered the industry as well, through the shipping and receiving department for a hydraulic distribution/repair company in Broussard, LA.

Why did you feel it was important to become certified as a Hydraulic Specialist?

Being that I usually had the most contact with customers (first point of contact because of will call) I felt it was necessary to become knowledgeable about the products we service. So, I started trying to figure out what the customer needed before having to interrupt someone else. (trying to make things more efficient, if you will). I remember getting excited when I identified the lip seal our customer needed for their P76 pump correctly.

What were the steps involved in Hydraulic Specialist certification?

The first step was convincing myself I could do it. Second step was becoming a member of the International Fluid Power Society and to get all the study materials I needed to study for the exam. I then chose a test date and studied away.

How did you prepare?

Being that my father is a mechanical engineer, CFPE, CFPS, and on the board of the IFPS, I felt it would be foolish not to tap that resource. We decided on a study schedule that I was quite fond of, meeting once a week (twice as it got closer to test day) to go through the study manual and practice questions he would make for me. As a bonus, I would get a free meal out of it all!

How has certification helped in your current role?

I am still “green” in the industry, so when I get to use my fluid power certification, it is very exciting. The certification has really helped with selling components for these systems with better efficiency. I know what my customer is saying and can visualize their needs, enabling me to do further research from there.

How do you think certification has helped (or will help) in your career?

With such little experience in the industry, becoming certified has made a big difference. It helped me get the job I have today with Motion Industries. I believe that my certification will only enhance my opportunities to continue to grow. It is nice to work for a company that is supportive and has encouraged me to figure out what else I can do, geared toward maintaining and increasing my certification.

Would you encourage others to become certified, and why?

I would definitely encourage others to become certified. It has opened a number of doors for me. I am currently studying for 2 additional certifications.

Besides the obvious pros, there is another reason to become certified. With whatever career we choose to become a part of, we should try to be more knowledgeable about what we do. For me, I strive every day to learn more and more about the industry I am in, so as to best serve my customer base. Fluid power is a part of everything we use, whether it’s systems that built the cars we drive every day or we see it face-to-face working in plants and troubleshooting units. We can only benefit by having knowledge about how things run and getting to the root of problems.

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