Courtesy CDC

Life lessons and career boosts come from unexpected places. In our sister publication, Pool & Spa News, we asked several experts and professionals to share early jobs that had a surprising effect on their eventual careers.

Because he plays such a vital role in developing the Model Aquatic Health Code, we asked Michael Beach, director of healthy water for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to talk a little bit about his past.

Michael Beach, Ph.D.
Current Job:
Assoc. Director for Healthy Water

Past Life:
Aluminum factory

"I worked for several years at an aluminum factory. It was my job to collect environmental samples and test them for aluminum production-specific chemical contamination. I worked in that lab for long hours, plus weekends and most holidays. But the experience taught me how to work in tough situations, and it helped me get where I am today. I still have a picture of the factory at my desk to remind me."