New Kid on the Block

I started this week at Future Fuel in the Health and Safety department. With one week of work down I can happily say that everything is going wonderfully! My first day at Future Fuel started on Wednesday when I got out of Biochemistry. Although I was quite nervous as I pulled into the employee parking lot, all my fear went away the minute I got my plant ID. It sort of hit me all at once that I was about to start my first real job, at a real company, with real chemistry. It’s still not quite set in…

As if that wasn’t enough, while I was getting toured around the plant, I was shown “my office.” Sure, it’s just a section of a small room I share with another employee, but to me it’s so much more than that. It may be a small thing, but to me it represents a physical manifestation of the work I’ve put into college this far. I never would have dreamed that I would have an office of my own, but now it’s actual reality.

If you’re not completely aware of it at this point, everything on that first day was making me giddy. Even the stapler they gave me was exciting. There was one thing though that I will shamelessly say made me geek out hardcore, and that was the lab tour. Although I probably won’t be working in the lab for a long time, if ever, I was allowed to tour the analytical and research labs. The only way that I can describe that experience is that it was like Christmas morning if all you asked for was laboratory instruments. I honestly don’t geek out about a lot of things, and I didn’t think I would about the lab, but it was such an amazing experience. Auto-titrators were the main thing that caught my eye given the number of titrations I’ve had to do here at Lyon. One of the chemists even told me that they don’t have to standardize a single thing… If you’re a chemist then you understand the gravity of that statement for an undergraduate student.

Some of the initial work I’m doing involves working on a sort of database for substances used at the plant. This database is just kind of testing an idea, but it will allow us to quickly search for a substance and see its hazard classifications. It’s a lot of data entry, but reading about some of the chemicals has been pretty cool, so I’m enjoying it.

Very excited to start again next week and see where the semester takes me! Everyone at the plant has been very welcoming and kind and that has made all the difference.

-Chandler

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