Tristian Washington drums his way into engineering

Tristian Washington drums his way into engineering


Tristian Washington tends to his job responsibilities with the same rhythm and percussion he used when playing the drums in high school and college, and with the same attention to detail he uses in martial arts.

As a distribution engineer in the Meridian Division, he handles the needs of residential and lighting customers.

“My job duties vary depending on the type of customer,” Washington said. “Once I determine what scope of work is needed, I do a proper load analysis to make sure the customer will receive reliable service. I also handle damage claims, which can sometimes be quite interesting. Whatever the case, the goal is to come to a win-win solution.”

Washington, who’s been with the company for about six months, grew up in tiny St. Joseph, La. (population 1,029).

“Until Google came along, you couldn’t find it on the map,” he added.

At nearby Franklin Senior High School, Washington was captain of the school’s drumline.

“I love playing the drums and being involved with the rhythm, timing and music,” Washington said. “I had been in the band since elementary school, and that experience helped me earn a band scholarship to Tuskegee University.”

But, he added, an engineering career was always on his radar.

“In high school, I would have long talks with the late Mrs. Sophie August, the school’s assistant principal. We both realized that my passion for technology and my design capabilities would help me one day become an electrical engineer,” he added. “My uncles were electricians, and that sparked my interest in engineering. I’ve always liked technology, and it’s been a dream of mine to work in a technical field.”

Washington went to Tuskegee on scholarship and was a member of the Tuskegee Crimson Pipers Marching Band for one semester. He then decided to focus on school, and an engineering degree. It was during that time he attended a Southern Company job fair, where his professional calling become clear.

“I graduated in 2014, moved back to Louisiana and started working for an electrical contracting company,” Washington said. “But I never took my eyes off Southern Company. With many prayers and being proactive, I landed a job with Mississippi Power.”

Away from the job, Washington enjoys spending time with his wife Kairis, son Kyran (20), daughter Kyla (18), daughter Alayshia (10) and son Kylin (9), along with riding horses and playing drums.

“My favorite indoor activity is listening to various types of music and breaking down the different instruments and drum patterns,” Washington said. “My favorite outdoor activity is riding horses. I enjoy riding and taking care of such beautiful animals. If I could ride a horse to work, I would.”

Or perhaps he could ride a horse to the dojo, since Washington’s been a black belt in taekwondo since he was seven-years old.

“My dad was a third-degree black belt and instructor,” he added. “Our team made it all the way to the Junior Olympics in Orlando, Fla.”

Between drums, martial arts, horses, his job and family, Washington said his crowning achievement to date is simply making it out of a small town.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities in St. Joseph,” he said. “Through the help of the good Lord, and countless hours of dedication, I made it out. My family uses my story to hopefully motivate and inspire anyone who is willing to listen and wants to make a difference.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.