It was 1977, and it was the end of my senior year at Penn State. I realized that I started to find about finding a job. By the time I went to the career services, I had liked Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, but they didn’t have any interviews for the savings open, so I put it on my waitlist.
Later in a month, I had a call that there had been snowing on the original interview and had them postponed. The Career Service had some new appointments, and would you like to come in for an interview. Of course, I did.
They did send a second interview at East Hartford in Connecticut, and they did make an offer, and I started in July of 1977 as a Financial Management Trainee.
My older brother, who lived in New York, went with me to help me find a place. We found an apartment, and it was not great. We did not realize that the airport runway started on Monday mornings. Many years later, after I left, the University of Connecticut had turned it into a football stadium.
My first assignment was a group in Financial Information Systems. The idea was to stay for six months and then moved to different roles for two years.
The PWA facility was a vast population.
One of the early founds out was that they had soccer intramural with about six teams. I sent my name to get on the team. I ended up with a player who was an All-American at the University of Connecticut. His name was John Sahnas. We played for a few years, working well together, and caused many scores and “championships.”
Another team played other businesses in Hartford, and they were very competitive and aggressive.
During my first assignment, my work colleagues mentioned that one of the finance management trainees was also from Penn State. His name was Doug Karns, and he started with PWA about six months early. I did not recognize his name. One of his teams asked me to walk over with him to the other building. I didn’t realize that it was about a mile to cross the plant!
As soon as I walked to Doug, I immediately him from Penn State. We were in the same dorm during our Freshman year. It was on Tenor Hall, and I was on the second floor, and I think he was on the third floor. I played soccer and was busy with playing and studying. I knew Doug, but we were not friends. After my Sophomore year, I moved to a fraternity. He was an accounting major like me, but we hardly saw him.
As it turned out, we became good friends for a few years when we stayed at PWA. He got married in 1978, and I went to the wedding. Of course, he had a football game at PSU vs. OSU that night. PSU won. (Coincidentally, my son went to his marriage in 2019, and they also had a game with PSU vs. OSU. And again, PSU won).
I stayed with PWA for about five years and made a lot of friends. Many are still friends today.
I left PWA, and Doug went too, and we lost track. We recently connected and discussed how much fun we had in those days.