Monika Mathur (Process Engineer)
Being part of a global network of companies means there truly is a world of opportunity for Saint-Gobain employees – a fact that is clearly demonstrated by Monika’s career to date.
We caught up with her at the end of a two-year secondment from Certain Teed Gypsum, our North American sister company.
Tell us a bit about how you came to work in the UK
I was working on the operations side at a plant in Kent, Washington when the opportunity for a secondment to the UK came up and I jumped at the chance. The engineering group at Certain Teed were keen for someone to get experience of working in the UK because the industry is so well run here. The intention was to learn from each other, so that we can bring some of that expertise back to the USA.
My secondment has been to the Gypsum and Insulation Activity Central Team – GMT, at the British Gypsum East Leake Works. In particular, I have been working on the conversion from DSG (or synthetic gypsum as it’s sometimes called) to rock. This has been really interesting for me, as previously I had not worked on the milling side of the business. East Leake really is a flagship for technology and has been the best place to learn how things should be done.
How has your experience been of working in another country?
It’s been totally amazing; I love England. It really helped that the language is the same and the culture is not really that different. It’s also a much more diverse place than I expected. I’ve really liked being able to become a part of the team here and while of course I’ve missed home at times, it wasn’t too hard to make friends. My favourite thing has been discovering all the little idiosyncrasies and learning new terms like ‘done and dusted!’
What will you take away from this experience?
The connections I’ve made to the people here are the most personally valuable thing I’ll be taking away. I was really ‘green’ to the process engineering world when I came here but the team have taught me everything – and were happy to do it too, nobody ever lost their patience with me.
I’m really grateful for what’s been made available to me here. Being part of a global business means that if you show the commitment and aptitude, they’ll give you these amazing opportunities. The business has shown that it values my experience, which is really rewarding.
I joined Saint-Gobain straight from university as part of the leadership programme but I never thought at the time that I would get to have an international assignment. It’s exciting to know that when you join Saint-Gobain, you’re signing up for a lot more than just that first job.