Ben

Ben studied Master of Chemical Engineering at University of Melbourne

Working in the Life Sciences division of Ixom my role primarily sources raw materials to be used in the manufacture of food and nutritional products.

A typical day for me sees me building strong relationships with manufactures, suppliers and our customers gathering product and market information from both overseas and locally, researching new suppliers and manufacturers, as well as ordering materials. It’s important for me to stay aware of the progress of any current contracts we have with customers and make sure that we are catering to existing business as well as searching for new opportunities.

My current role on the Graduate program allows me to use many different skills and could be done by someone without an engineering degree, whereas my previous role definitely required an engineering degree. I think it’s more important to be able to think on your feet and solve problems as quickly as possible which requires a willingness to communicate and constantly learn how to do things more efficiently.

One of the hardest parts of the job is trying to control a range of different factors, some of which are completely out of your control. This includes things like overseas political situations, overseas holidays, weather, and even natural disasters. Despite these, customers still need the product so we need to get it to them!

 My advice: Study hard but make sure you have passions outside of Uni. Get experience in as many areas as you can (work and personal). Take it seriously, but not too seriously, enjoy it!

Bernie

Bernard studied Bachelor of Chemical Engineering at University of Auckland

In my role, in the Watercare team for NZ, I mainly deal with the supply of chemicals to water and waste water treatment plants.

A large part of my role is going to customer sites and running tests that provide information on how the process is running and how the chemicals are performing in the processes. We’ll then use these results to make recommendations for actions going
forward. Another exciting aspect is ongoing process improvements which can consist of lab-scale and plant-scale trials for varying or introducing new chemicals, which is awesome as you’re able to get involved with other parts of the company.

The best part is how often I am actually out of the office doing things. Some days I will only spend 2-3 hours in the office and the rest of the day is out on customer sites interacting with a whole bunch of different people. Once a month I complete a
testing circuit, this means I stay overnight in a different city, for two full days I am out and about using my hands instead of just sitting at my desk.

Absolutely any person from any background can do this role. It doesn’t require a perfect GPA or specific technical degree. As long as you are confident, well-rounded, and not afraid to put in the hard yards and get your hands dirty you can succeed in this role.

My advice: Don’t be afraid to challenge people and lecturers. You can talk to them as equals and often the best relationships
and best learning experiences come when you engage in constructive discussions with others

Jack

Jack studied Bachelor of Engineering at University of Auckland

Growing up in a small town in rural NZ I got involved in as many sports, activities and groups as I could. At high school I enjoyed subjects such as Mathematics with Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. That coupled with my love for problem solving led me to pursue a bachelor of Engineering at Auckland University, specialising in CHEMMAT.

At Ixom I work within the NZ Projects team to investigate, plan and supervise ongoing projects at our manufacturing and storage sites throughout New Zealand. At the moment some of my projects include Mixing Tank Replacement, change in delivery method of a product to a specific customer, reallocation of products stored on one of our sites, and work with the safety case to comply with new MHF requirements.

With the graduate program you are surrounded by a network of people aiming to develop you so you can see what role within the company best suits you. The opportunity to travel to different areas (both in the company and in Oceania) is a fantastic and broadening experience.

My advice: Pay your Taxes. Wear Sunscreen. Learn Excel

Phoebe 

Phoebe studied Bachelor of Chemical and Environmental Engineer at University of Queensland

After finishing High school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, so I took a gap year, and moved to Scotland to live and work in a boarding school and travel Europe. After my gap year was up I started a general first year of engineering and
began to specialise in chemical engineering in second year. The reason I decided to do engineering was because I enjoyed working on science research projects in high school and liked working in teams.

At the end of third year I did my vac work at a coal mine in Queensland, which I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt many valuable lessons; I realised the importance of communication, showing initiative and being proactive. In my final year of engineering I
applied for the graduate program with Ixom, where I was lucky enough to be offered a position a few months later.

The coolest thing about my job would have to be the independence I am given for the projects I work on. As a project owner it’s my responsibility to progress with the project planning and organising, as well as ensuring that all aspects are considered. This requires liaising with a whole range of cross functional teams. I also love learning about how various units in the plant operate; by working on site it helps being able to actually see the units in real life.

My advice: Try and learn as much as possible about the basics of the other types of engineering; this is because the projects that I have been working on involve all aspects of engineering.