A day in the life of a valve specialist
Name: Colin Shields
Age : 41
Job title: Valve specialist/PIM Relief product manager
Organisation: Plant Integrity Management (PIM)
I usually wake up around 6am and check the television for the day’s headlines and grab a cup of tea at the same time. Living in the centre of Inverurie, it usually takes me about 30 minutes to get into the office in Blackburn. I car-pool with a colleague – we started a few years ago and it is a really great remedy for a boring commute. I arrive at the office at around 7.15am. I like to get in a little earlier than the team and get a handle on my emails before the day gets started. I manage accounts for clients across the globe so I look through the priorities and sort through what needs to be replied to first thing. Currently we’re getting ready to launch a new version of our Pressure Safety Valve (PSV) software and so we have daily meetings with the software team to make sure that we’re on track and make sure each element is fully tested.
At lunchtimes, I enjoy the stroll from the office to Hudsons, a local bakery in the Woodburn industrial estate. I’d like to say I get something healthy but it’s hard to resist their lasagne special or chicken curry. We often host internal ‘lunch and learn’ sessions. Not only do PIM’s different departments get to learn more about best practice, but we also get a great opportunity to collaborate and develop new product ideas.
Afternoons can be a real mixture of tasks, from conference calls with clients to reporting on the software’s performance to the senior management team.
In my role as product manager of PIM Relief, I often travel to key regions where our clients are based and which are fertile ground for new business opportunities. Recent trips have included visiting Qatar to carry out some face-to-face meetings with some of our existing clients. Not only do these trips offer a great chance to be in the same room as our clients, but they offer a fantastic opportunity to hear the current challenges they’re facing and absorb the unique culture you find in every organisation.
In between working while abroad, I’m lucky to fit in a little bit of leisure time out there too. I’ve still not managed to get my golf clubs out with me, but you’re spoiled for choice with great places to eat.
Living in Inverurie is great for allowing me to enjoy a round of golf in the evenings, although at this time of year it is far too dark for that, let alone battling against the weather. I often just catch up with some of my friends locally or unwind watching quiz shows on the TV< brushing up on my general knowledge which comes in handy at the local pub quiz.
Working in the oil and gas industry is a really fast-paced place to be. Originally joining PIM as a valve specialist, I’ve since been part of a huge digital revolution over the past few years as more and more processes are moved online to streamline them and ensure easy access of data. Being at the forefront of this really gives me a real drive in my job.
And it may be a cliché that people power business, but the collection of great people at PIM, and the collaborative approach we take to our work, is what energises us.