ROHIT AND TUSHAR
Rohit Gulia is currently based in the Mumbai office as a Process Engineer. He has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from ICT Mumbai.
Reflecting on his first year at Petrofac, Rohit says it has been an “incredible journey”.
“The graduate development programme has been wonderful for me – I’ve learned so much,” he says. “Coming from the classroom to the workplace was a good experience. In the classroom you are focused more on yourself and your research; here there is a hierarchy. You feel a sense of responsibility, as you become answerable to a chain of command.”
His colleagues have always made him feel welcome and are incredibly supportive, he adds: “They have an open-door policy – seniors managers always take time out to speak to me about how to make the most of the programme.”
Rohit spent his first rotation onsite before moving to engineering. What was it like being onsite for the first time? “It was different but an enriching experience. I did a site readiness module before going; it was a brilliant programme as it set my expectations for what life would be like. Being onsite you come to understand why safety is a core Petrofac value.”
What will he take away from the experience? “Everything is so dynamic and fast-moving, and you can learn from so many talented people.
“That’s what I took away – you should be open to new ideas. With a closed mindset you will limit what you can learn. There can be ups and downs at site, for example, with the weather, so you need to be adaptable.”
While onsite Rohit had the opportunity to learn about many different parts of a project, including construction, planning and commissioning. “My mentor encouraged me to focus on certain critical functions at site, as I won’t have this opportunity again. He is always very motivating.”
Rohit’s mentor Tushar Shah has a background in instrumentation (see more below), a different discipline to Rohit’s background in process engineering – but this has been a positive rather than a challenge.
“It’s a brilliant touch, as the disciplines are different, the approach changes and he has different insights,” explains Rohit.
After his rotation in engineering, Rohit will do further rotations in supply chain and a business function. “It will give me a complete overview of an EPC project,” he adds.
He’s not sure what area he would like to specialise in yet after the graduate development programme. “I loved the onsite environment and its dynamic nature. I also like the technical work behind process engineering. The programme has certainly opened up what the future could hold for me. At the moment I’m enjoying being part of a group that is trying to work towards a cleaner and better future.”
So, how would Rohit sum up his first year? “Exciting, fulfilling and enriching.”
“The best advice I’ve received from my mentor is to never say no to an opportunity. You will always be given support and enough time to nurture the skill required, so always be open minded.”
WORDS CHRISTINA McPHERSON
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2020
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH…
ROHIT’S MENTOR TUSHAR
Instrument Engineer Tushar Shah joined us in 2009. He is from Mumbai and works in our engineering centre in the Indian city. He officially became a mentor this year, but he has helped many graduates throughout his career in his previous role as a training coordinator in the Instrumentation department.
What do you find most rewarding about mentoring?
When HR asked me if I would like to be a mentor, I saw it as a continuation of my role as a training coordinator, which I did from 2015 to 2017. Sharing my experience with junior colleagues gives me a sense of satisfaction. I would encourage colleagues to become a mentor, as you can pass on your knowledge and experience to others. Personally, it can also help you to become a better person as you are guiding others.
What’s your top tip for being a good mentor?
Don’t impose your way of thinking on your mentee. You need to understand their point of view first and then you give your support, opinion, and the pros and cons of their way of thinking. We shouldn’t be instructing them what to do, we’re there to guide them.
What have you learned from the graduates joining the business?
I also joined as a graduate trainee, it was a different company of course. But comparing myself in 1997 to those coming up now, they are much better versed not only in their degrees but also technology. I learned everything after I joined my company, but I think graduates now are smarter than we were. One reason might be that they are exposed to much more in school and college.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Everyone has good qualities and everyone has bad qualities. Try to recognise the good in everyone.
Did you have a role model?
When I started out in the industry, there wasn’t such a thing as mentors. My one-year graduate trainee programme consisted of on-the-job experience alongside periodic lectures. Work wise I always tried to emulate one of my seniors, who was my lead for a couple of projects, he had a very positive effect on me. My grandfather was also very inspiring, I’ve always tried to follow how he has led his life.