Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, Indira Rampersad discovered that she had a knack for fixing things.
“You really couldn’t go to the store and purchase new all the time, so if something broke, you repaired it,” she said. “I used to hang out with my dad and my grandfather and they taught me a lot.”
Rampersad’s youthful tinkering helped prepare her for a successful future. After emigrating to the United States in 1987 in search of a better life, she attended Lincoln Technical Institute part-time at night and then got a job at a small firm installing heating and air conditioning systems.
Twelve years ago, Rampersad joined PSEG. She already had a good deal of experience as a service technician, but in many ways her education was just beginning. The company sent her to its training center in Edison, New Jersey, where she studied full-time for three years.
“I learned about gas leaks and about fixing appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, along with gas and electric water heaters,” she said.
After she graduated, Rampersad further honed her skills by accompanying seasoned technicians on service calls. These “ride times” gave her crucial, real-world experience and taught her best practices across a wide range of service situations.
Today, as a senior service technician in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Rampersad’s depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise are helping people across the Trenton Gas district. Customers rely on her to fix their heating and air conditioning systems, gas and electric ranges and dryers, cooktops and ovens, gas and electric water heaters, gas fireplaces – the list goes on and on.
“I love going out, meeting my customers and helping them because they depend on me as a technician coming into their homes,” she said. “When a customer is happy, I’m happy.”
Rampersad, a member of United Association union, is the only female technician in the West Windsor-Monroe-Crabury-Plainsboro New Jersey area, but it has never bothered her.
“It’s no big deal,” she said. “They respect me, I respect them. I’m treated same way guys are treated. At first, being a female, guys who were used to being around men might have been skeptical, but I proved myself.”
She and her colleagues depend on each other, sharing their knowledge in troubleshooting – especially challenging problems.
“If you’re a woman considering choosing a position in the field, it’s a great opportunity,” she said. “I noticed a lot of women don’t know these jobs are available for them. We should encourage young girls and women to pursue these careers.”
A competitive spirit
Rampersad’s commitment to excellence extends to off-hours pursuits, as well. Her favorite sport is cricket, and in Trinidad and Tobago she was on the women’s national team. Today, she plays golf and is an avid bowler, sporting an average that fluctuates between 189 and 195. She once bowled a perfect game.
“I’ve always been a go-getter,” she said. “I always wanted to do well in life, so I’ve pushed myself.”
For more information on career opportunities at PSEG, please visit jobs.pseg.com.