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Cassie's Creative Catalyst
Cassie's Creative Catalyst

Season 2, Episode 2 · 1 year ago

Careers, Networking, and Internships, Oh My

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, I talk about career fairs, networking, and what I learned during my time as a process safety management engineer intern! The additional info on the risk matrix and the piping and instrumentation diagrams will be posted by 12/22/2020.

Note: Chemical Engineering Podcast

Hey guys, this is Cassie,the host of CASSIE's creative catalysts. I'm in the process of sending out applicationsfor my first full time engineering job, so I thought it would be helpfulto talk about some of the experiences I've had a career affairs, the networkingopportunities I've used and what I learned from my internship. Career Fares can beoverwhelming, especially your first one. There are tons of people milling around,over a dozen companies to talk to and, on top of it all, youhave to sell yourself these companies in a way they'll remember. So thefirst thing I'm going to say is breath. You will have a much better timeif you prep a little beforehand. My friend and I would spend thenight before career fair checking our resumes, researching the companies, practicing our introductionsand picking your outfits. This help take some of the stress away from theday of, because we knew that we looked professional both in appearance and onpaper, and we had some talking points for the recruiters. Regardless of howmuch we prepared, we always had prefair jitters. That first interview is alwaysnerve racking. Would you remember what to say? Do you know enough aboutthe position you're interviewing for? I always...

...like to refresh my memory on whatproducts a company makes, what their big projects are and if they've had anyrecent breakthroughs. This way you can ask if the plant you're interviewing with isinvolved in any of those projects. It's good to get the recruiters talking aboutthis stuff because you can gage how they feel about it. They will alsogage your interest in the company you during these conversations, so take it fromme, don't fit it too much. Take notes, make eye contact and, if you're sitting in a spinning chair, make a very conscious effort to notspin on it. I fail to make the SEFFORT during my first interviewand I realized about fifteen minutes in that I had not stopped moving since Ihad sat down. It was a good lesson to learn, but it's certainlywas it the most professional thing I've ever done. During these interviews, payattention to how the recruiters treat you they're hiring partner, and how they speakabout the company. My Mom always reminds me that they're not just seeing ifyou're a good fit for the company. You're seeing if they're a good fitfor you. If you don't like how the recruiters conducting themselves during the careerfair interview or any correspondence you have with...

...them afterwards, you don't have tocontinue seeking employment with them. You want to make a good impression on themso you'll be considered for the job, and it's okay to hold the companyto the same standards they hold you too. However, most recruiters a career affairsand interviews are extremely nice and Professional. I've had far more good experiences thanbad ones. I would also recommend going to a career fair with afriend if possible. It's always so much fun to check in between interviews.You get to talk about what you liked, what you didn't like, who youwant to check out next. It's kind of like a rapid fire debriefthat cements what just happened in your mind while keeping you excited to visit theother booths. And if your friend found a really good company that you didn'tknow about, you can kind of add them to your list so you don'tmiss a good opportunity. Outside of career affairs, friends are a great wayto start networking. We all left at the trope of my cousin's friends,sister said, but when it comes to networking, that's pretty much how itworks. I've sent out resumes to companies...

...that my grandparents have worked for andcompanies that my dad's friends have worked for. I even sent one out to acompany that my best friend's uncle used to work for. Networking usually onlymeans that people look at your resume a little closer the most, and sometimesit boosts you into the interviewing process, but that little boost can make abig difference. Networking is actually how I got my first internship. I spendthe summer and turning as a process safety management engineer, otherwise known as aPSM engineer, at a company my GRANDPA had worked at as a sophomore incollege. I was beyond overwhelmed. I still barely knew what a chemical engineercould do, but I was excited because I'd heard good things about the companyand the people that work there. I wasn't disappointed and in fact I stillcarry around the safety coin they gave me after I had completed my hiring training. The Safety Coin Not only reminds me of how important safety is in industry, it reminds me the exact moment I knew without a doubt that I wantedto be a chemical engineer. The safety coin also reminds me to be thankfulfor the mentors I had in the experiences...

...they gave me. As a processsafety engineer, I updated standard operating procedures, piping and instrumentation diagrams, safety acturereports, in wrote and reviewed management of change paperwork. These were allinterconnected and could be prompted by operator concerned, consultant recommendation or a near Miss orinstant report. Many plants and by operators to bring up any safety concernedthey have about operating a process or about the flow of movement through the manufacturingplant. This is extremely beneficial because the operators are the ones who are workingin this area every single day. As an engineer, it is crucial toremember that you don't know as much as the person who has operated process fortwenty years. Just because of design a safe on paper doesn't mean that theoperators haven't found a reason for concern. During a process hazard analysis, engineersfrom other plants within the company, as well as outside engineers, will comein to examine a process and know any concern that they see. This allowsthe plant to identify issues that they may...

...have not originally considered due to constantexposure. This process must be done every five years, based on ocean's requirements, and it must be done before a new process can be approved for use. Representatives from suppliers may also visit and make recommendations on how to store thematerial they supply. Near miss reports are filed any time an operator could havebeen injured or any time the equipment or the environment could have been damaged.When the injury or damage actually did occur, and incident report was filled out thatcontained the findings of an incident investigation. This investigation looked for all possible causesof the incident. During this internship, I was taught that it was importantto not blame anyone for the incident, because it creates an environment where operatorsdon't want to address certain incidents or they don't want to talk about incidentsthat have already happened because they feel like you're out to get them. Evenif human error did occur, it is important to realize that there were inadequatesafeguards in the process that allowed the incident...

...to be triggered by human error.However, before any changes can occur, a meeting needs to take place aboutthe management of change. This meeting involves piasm department, the manager of theoperation and any other engineers that would work on the process and an operator thatis knowledgeable about the process. There are other people that may be called in, such as additional safety departments, environmental engineers or outside contract or familiar withthe process. During this meeting or meetings, depends on the circumstances, the changesto the process are discussed to make sure that the new changes are upto the standard set by Osha EPA and other governing agencies and to ensure thatthe changes are safer than the previous design and do not introduce any unnecessary riskor hazards. We use a risk matrix to determine how likely it is thatan incident will occur her and how much damage will occur if they happens.I'll post a nature if on my instagram and website with an explanation on howto read it. When a change happens...

...within a process, the standard operatingprocedures need to be updated. These procedures detail how the equipment work, stirringstart up everyday routines, shut down and emergency shutdown. The processes should containstep by step instructions in simple terms that they can easily be followed without misinterpretation. The necessary instrumentation and equipment should be noted within the operating procedures to ensureproper operations are conducted at the proper location. If new piping instrumentation, such asvalves, controls or equipment, is added to a process, the pipingand instrumentation diagrams must be updated and put on a maintenance schedule. These diagramsallow engineers and operators to easily identify what pipes, valves and other instrumentation areconnected to a piece of equipment. We use these diagrams to show where ouralarms are, what the alarms are for, what types of valves and pipes areused and will part of the process they are connected to. These diagramsallow engineers to determine how to isolate parts...

...of the process that need maintenance,how the valves operate in an emergency and more. These diagrams are used asa reference when updating or designing a process. I'll post a piping and instrumentation diagramon my instagram and website with an explanation of how to read it.Once these changes have taken place and have been approof by all of the membersof the management of Change Committee, the paperwork assigned, operators are trained andthe proof of training, standard operating procedures, typing, instrumentation diagrams and the specificationsof any new equipment added to the process are attached to a management ofchange form and file so they can easily be referenced. If the management ofchange happened as a result of a safety action recommendation, the recommendation is closedand the management of change is referenced. If the management of change addressed asafety action recommendation attached to a near Miss r instant report, a copy ofthe management of change is attached to the report. The report can be closedonce all safety action recommendations are addressed by a management of change or by adocumented reason saying why no change was made.

The reason I mention all this isbecause there are things that I learned long before they came up in class, and now that I've seen them in class and in aicat training modules,I still firmly believe that I learned more practical information from my internship and nowhappen at any job. My internship also taught me a variety of soft skillsthat I've grown into over the last few years and may be more willing toask questions, more willing to look at the cause of safety incidents, andit gave me a reason to keep being a chemical engineer. I learned howto research materials for plant use, talk to potential suppliers and how to workwith operators on COM flifting issues. I was also lucky because the company Ientered for allowed me to come back and watch how a CHAZ OP is conducted. I got to meet the head engineer of the company during this experience andI was able to learn how engineers look at the operations of controllers, alarms, motors and more. As a sophomore in college, this went way overmy head, but I am thankful for...

...the experience because it showed me whatI could expect further down the line. Internships are about learning things the classroomjust can't teach you. My biggest downfall during my internship experience was not lookingfor more at opportunities to learn. They were there, but me being thelast sophomore, I was had no idea what to look for, how toask, and then I wasn't going to be a burden. If I asked, I held myself back from a lot of opportunities without realizing it, andthat's one hundred percent on me. So, regardless of if you're networking, applyingto jobs or working as an intern, you should remember that if you wantto learn something new, if you want to involved in a project,you should ask. The worst thing they can say is no. Thanks forlistening. If you've enjoyed this podcast and have any questions, comments or suggestions, I'd love to hear from you. You can contact me on instagram atcassie's underscore creative underscore catalyst, by email at cassie's creative catalyst at gmailcom oron my website at cassie's creative cat dot wicksitecom forward slash my site.

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