4th April 2019

Edgar John: How I Landed My Dream Job

I started primary school at age 5 as opposed to age 7 which is the required age in Tanzania. Like any youngster i had plenty of unofficial dreams and hobbies – playing with machines included. Seeing that I was getting good grades planted the seed that one day I will be able work with big machines which I still am very fascinated by. My confidence was further boosted when I managed to complete my secondary education by one year less of the set four years standard!

On my first day at university in 2014, the admission officer asked me “Will you manage?” Simply because I looked younger than the typical individual enrolling for a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering he formed an opinion of me in his mind. This simple question fuelled me greatly because I had great passion and a burning desire to get my hands in the Energy Industry and I knew for a fact that Mechanical Engineering was going to be the vehicle that answers to my love for machines, particularly in the energy sector.

As required by the curriculum, I had to undergo Industrial Practical Training and my first placement was at a plastic company. This was the big debut with machines and what a time that was. For my second-year practical training I landed a spot at CSI Energy Group and I was placed at their fabrication workshop where I got to learn about production processes and quality control through hands-on experience. Although I was not at the project sites where all the power plant action was taking place, I got to experience how support functions for the energy projects operated.

In my third and final Industrial practical training, I once again got the opportunity to train with CEG. This time I was placed at the Kinyerezi II 240MW Power Plant Project – the moment I had always been waiting for. Every day at site I felt like a kid at a candy store kind of excitement.

As a final requirement prior to been awarded a degree I carried out a personal project on conversion of plastic waste into energy alternatives. The project was driven by my passion, trainings with CEG and Sustainable Development Goals number 7,9 & 13. My academic project involved designing and analyzing an economic plant to convert plastic waste into energy alternatives. Before the academic presentation I shared my project on Twitter and one of the people who took interest was Chris Glasson (CEO, CSI Energy Group). He raised some questions about my project – questions which I even ended up facing during my final presentation – I call this a blessing in disguise.

Before this point, Chris & I had interacted briefly on LinkedIn and that was about it.

Upon completion of my undergrad studies, I was invited to join CEG as a Trainee Project Engineer enrolled through their internship program. This is one of the biggest achievements in my life time. I have since improved in areas that I had not learnt as an undergraduate. Thanks to the exposure at different projects, departments and even social events; I have met diverse individuals who are always providing a welcoming environment. I have also managed to connect my theoretical knowledge with practice by being involved in the quality control section which is an essential element of bringing the projects to life. Without forgetting the technology aspect which I have been introduced to, allowing me to master various software used for project management and day to day team interaction.

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The toughest challenge I faced previously was finding a mentor and now I have found numerous mentors here at CEG and I am very grateful for the opportunity to get my hands on some of the country’s mega projects like Kinyerezi I & II Power Plants and Julius Nyerere International Airport – Terminal 3.

I could go on and on about my rather fresh career journey however I have to go prepare for yet another adventure I am about to embark on – a mechanical project upcountry for the rehabilitation of pumping stations which involves replacement of old engines with new CAT units. I will be away from home for 3months, but I am excited about the lessons that lie ahead. As they say these days, I am living my best life!

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