George V.: Research Associate and Process Analytical Specialist

April 21, 2010
When you were little, what did you want to be?
The first thing I remember want to be was an astronaut. The space program was very popular in the ‘60s. then, during my early teens I dreamt of becoming a professional golfer.
What were some of the jobs you had before this one?
When I was a kid, my first job was delivering newspapers. Occasionally I would babysit. Later on I became a caddy and worked at a country club. Once I got into college, I was a computer operator and a lab assistant. I tutored in my spare time. During the summer I worked for a home health care company and was a camp councilor.
How did you first realize you wanted to enter chemistry?
I first knew I wanted to work in chemistry, was, probably, during my junior year f high school. That was the year took my first chemistry class. I really enjoyed the labs.
So, what exactly do you do at your job?
I develop techniques to measure the properties of oil and petro chemicals. I help implement them at company bases and manufacturing sites.
At a typical day at your job, what do you do?
There is no such thing as a normal day! Some days are full of meetings, other days I’m working in the lab, then there are times when im just answering phone calls and emails. I frequently have to write technical reports and make technical presentations. I also have to visit our plants to implement the new technology as well as visit our vendors and attend conferences.
What skills surprised you that you needed for your job?
It’s been different things at different times. Early in my career, it was the need to communicate extremely well in both written and oral forms. Later in my career, I found it important to have a better understanding of business and other financial matters.
How does your job impact the world?
The teach others how to implement the techniques I develop more safely , efficiently, and with less adverse impact on the environment. It also helps to ensure our products and their performance for our customers.

Do you have any funny stories from your job?
There are always funny things that happen at work. One of the funny things to happen to me was during my first year; a man was retiring from my team. After working for 42 years , He presented various memorabilia to all the members of the team during his anniversary party, Except for me, who he gave a baby rattle. Typically the funniest things happened at retirement parties.
How does your job affect the rest of your life?
There are several ways. The most obvious is when I travel; I have to be away from home. The mental fatigue and stress frequently makes me tired and impacts how I feel at home. I also occasionally miss important events with my family.
What are the best and worst things about your job?
The best thing about my job is when a technique works, and works well. This helps other people in the plant and has a positive impact on my company. The worst thing is that financial times have existed through nearly my entire career. I’ve seem numerous people laid off from their jobs. And on occasion, I have been the one to make that decision.
How much does your job stress you?
The technical part of my job is very enjoyable! But, when it comes to the administrative end of my job it can be extremely frustrating.

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