Ten years ago I started my first "proper" job. My first job after graduating, in the world of chemical engineering. I, along with about 20 other recent graduates, arrived at a conference center in the middle of the countryside near Peterborough to start working for British Sugar.
When I first realised that that day was a decade ago, I was surprised: Surely it can't have been that long ago? But then when I think of all the stuff I have done since then, the various roles and projects, the different problems or incidents I have had to work on, I think the opposite: Was that only 10 years ago?
I worked at British Sugar for just over two years, so it has made up barely a fifth of career, and yet it feels like longer. I have fond memories of my time there. Even to this day I will happily explain the sugar manufacturing process to anyone who asks me1.
I am glad that my 10 years of experience has been divided by such different roles and industries. The years of working in operations has been very useful while working in progress control. Sugar refining and oil refining are very different industries, yet again there was plenty of opportunities to transfer skills from one industry to the other. After all, we Are still dealing with pumps, pipes and heat exchangers.
I consider myself very lucky to be where I am just now. I certainly had no idea I would have ended up here when I started out 10 years ago. I am curious what the next 10 years will hold. But whatever I predict will almost certainly be wrong.
- Seriously, unless you genuinely want to know, don't ask while we are having a meal together. Otherwise you will get a full lecture on the process ↩