Our PERSON OF THE DAY is currently a first year engineer at Frito-Lay and she graduated from the University of Florida (Class of 2014). This is her story:
There’s a First Time for Everything.
Back in October, I moved to Dallas all the way from Florida to start work as a research & development engineer at Frito-Lay. Since then, my life feels like it’s been full of “firsts” – and continues to be. It’s the first time I’ve lived on my own.
I purchased my first car here, and now am fully responsible for its upkeep. First time handling benefits and attempting to understand 401k plans.Bascially, I’ve been a spoiled college student who’s had her entire education paid for by her parents, with some help from internship money from my previous summer internship at Frito.
In addition, it’s also been my first real full-time job. The job in itself has been just as scary as it has been exciting! I went on my first business trip two weeks after I started work, which involved getting my own rental car, and with the help of my GPS and coworker who drove ahead of me (thank goodness) I made it to the small town 50 miles outside Houston where we were going to run a test at a Frito plant. Even more crazy, our test was supposed to start at noon, but was delayed again…and again…and again….
We had woken up early that day, ready to go, but were on call almost all night. We managed to get a few hours of sleep, then headed over to the plant finally around 4 am the next morning. After the test was over, I was simply powered by energy drinks and protein bars, had to drive across rush hour in Houston, and once I got to the airport, wolfed down a much-needed hot meal and ordered a coffee as I awaited my delayed flight back to DFW.
The next morning at work, my (very understanding) manager told me I basically looked like a zombie and should go home to sleep. Thankfully, I was told that the nightshift wasn’t typical (at least with the severe delays). The next trip – guess what – was a 12-hour night shift from 1 am to 1 pm. I never thought it’d be so hard to switch to being nocturnal for a small portion of my 8-5 workweek schedule at headquarters!
I think the most encouraging words said to me, ironically, are those of a manager that recognized the work I had done on my internship project. He saw me in the hallway the second day at work, and was happy to welcome me back. But he also told me: “Your head will be spinning for the first year.”
I am glad he told me that because it made me feel OK to not know the answers to everything thrown at me, and it eased my self-consciousness over the fear that I’d be given a task I couldn’t handle. So with all these “firsts,” I’ll just let my head spin, and have hope that things will starting coming together as time goes on. And maybe soon enough, I’ll be helping a new hire like myself make it through his or her “firsts.”