The UPM Caledonian paper mill, located on the South-West coast of Scotland, used to be just something I aimed at on the golf course before hitting my ball straight into the bushes. Thankfully, my first year at UPM has been more successful.
It is important to know that UPM is not a company that is after the “perfect” candidate. I am encouraged to admit when I don’t know something, no matter how simple it may be. This has been comforting and has made my transition from the classroom to a large process facility less difficult than it might have been.
Tough and rewarding year of 2020
The UPM graduate scheme it is not a hands-off experience. I was taking and testing samples of process streams in my first week, and within the first couple of months I was producing my own laboratory procedures and climbing around the inside of the onsite Combined Heat and Power facility. When I have spent time at the desk, I have been producing models and analysing data with the aim of streamlining the process.
I would be lying though if I didn’t admit that this year hasn’t been tough. Not only has the pandemic interfered with work life (my stay abroad has been delayed), but it has decimated the social side of life and claimed many lives. Reflecting on this has made me realise just how important the structure of this job has been for me this year. With the appearance of several vaccines, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel and I am excited to see what the future holds. You should be too!