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Meet

Michael

Meet

Michael

Plant Operator Technician, Air Separation Unit
U.S. Navy - Petty Officer First Class, Nuclear Machinist Mate
About

ASU operator since September 2014. As a plant Operator, I am responsible for monitoring 3 large Air Separation Units (ASU), an Argon Purification Unit, Nitrogen Liquefier, and Oxygen Purification Unit. Some of the duties I perform are monitoring, operating, starting and stopping equipment, process optimization, tanker loading and unloading, routine maintenance, and troubleshooting. Our ASUs are also responsible for supplying over 80 miles of pipeline with ultra pure nitrogen to many customers throughout Silicon Valley to meet their business, manufacturing and research needs. I am directly involved in the site's safety program and continuous improvement projects. As an operator, we cannot afford any unplanned downtime and much of my efforts are spent being proactive in finding problems before they find me. I am fortunate to have a position which I am so empowered to make the right choices when needed in order to get the job done.

Advice

I have an A.S. in Electro-Mechanical Design, a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering and Technologies. Having a strong technical background combined with years of plant experience is a recipe for success in any type of plant operation. But these are secondary to being a team player, having a positive attitude, being an open and honest communicator, taking responsibility for my work, and absorbing a lifestyle and culture of safety. I got this all from the military.

Takeaways

Resume building- I looked for a job for almost a year. After being in the military for 9 years, I had no idea what the job market was like, what to say during an interview and even if my resume was relevant to current trends. After countless applications and never having received even one call back from a potential employer, I contacted a job recruiter. This was my most important tool to finding a job, being humble and asking for help. My recruiter helped me develop a competitive resume, provided coaching for the interview and assisted in helping me make the right connections to the employers who were looking for the skills that I possessed. I also never realized how important it was to keep documentation about every step of my career from A-school to Honorable Discharge. When I finally sat down to compile all the qualifications, positional duties, collateral duties, training, honors, and awards, not only did I have an outstanding resume, more importantly I had a history that I was able to show my potential new employer that I was indeed a top producer in the military and I would be a top producer as a civilian. Most of my interview was spent discussing these highlights of my career.

Education- I took advantage of tuition assistance while I was in and completed my Bachelor’s degree. Having at least a 2 year technical degree is a requirement for many industrial plant operator jobs.

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