Daniel Gordon, Contributor at Large
Ruchir Pandya had what seemed to be a dream job in San Diego working with one of the largest and most well-known companies in the world—except for one important piece that was missing.
While Ruchir relished the excitement of being an RF system engineer for a retail giant and enjoyed his involvement in all aspects of RF and software integration, the frequent travel was starting to take away from family time. On any given day, he could get word in the morning that he was traveling to Seattle or Austin in the evening. Even when he wasn’t traveling, the workdays were long and grueling.
With a 1-year-old son, a pup that loves long walks, and both Ruchir and his wife working full-time, Ruchir began to explore other opportunities in the RF field. That’s when he came across an opening for a test engineer at Mini-Circuits’ West Coast office in Carlsbad, a scenic, coastal city in San Diego’s North County. To accommodate Ruchir’s hectic work schedule, MMIC Product Line Engineer Raj Santhakumar, who was hired in 2021 to open and run the Carlsbad office, invited Ruchir to interview on a Saturday morning. The two grabbed coffee and Raj led a tour of the facility while talking about the career opportunity.
“I wanted somewhere I could work hard and continue to learn, but still have a life outside of work,” Raj said. “I immediately felt comfortable because I could tell Raj was a good leader and I could see that the work setting was flexible.”
As a test engineer in Carlsbad, Ruchir helps develop important solutions for Mini-Circuits’ growing MMIC design hub. MMIC, or Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit, amplifiers are designed and fabricated using semiconductor materials, an area in which Ruchir brings impressive experience having worked at a large semiconductor manufacturer prior to his most recent employer. At Mini-Circuits, Ruchir has a hand in everything from test and software setup to data collection and analysis.
“Every day starts with a coffee and ends with a coffee,” Ruchir joked—but remember, it’s all about balance. That latter coffee might be to perk up for his daily three-mile dog walk, or perhaps to provide some pump for a power lifting session in the home gym he set up in his garage, where he also trains others. On some days, the afternoon coffee may give way to an evening beer; Ruchir brews his own. Whatever the case may be, the balance Ruchir now feels in life helps fuel his performance at work. He journals his latest learnings at the end of each day.
“I like being busy,” Ruchir said. “I enjoy the work and the people at Mini-Circuits. Everyone is extremely smart and collaborative. It’s the ideal work environment where we all have our own responsibilities but work together as a team to solve problems and expedite projects.”
Ruchir still has some travel, but it’s planned and far reduced compared to his previous experience that led him to prioritize balance. Meanwhile, he’s able to use the foundational and operational experience he gained along the way while continuing along his career path with a company that supports personal time and professional growth.
“We’re motivated to uplift each other and that includes each and every team member,” Ruchir said. “I look forward to seeing the continued growth here in the Carlsbad office and throughout the company.”