I am Rahul Thapa, a Mechanical Engineering Graduate currently working in Austal HSEQ (Quality Control Department). This is my second rotation in the graduate program.
This is how my day usually looks like. I have covered a Thursday working day.
I am an early riser, so I wake up and come to work around 6:15 am – 6:30 am.
I check my emails and look through my agenda for the day, which I planned the day before. Make sure I have an update ready for my manager once he’s in.
I like to have a general catch up with my Manager each day where we discuss planning. I note down the additional things I need to do in my agenda for the day.
Following this discussion I commence work on reports or planned inspection audits for the day. I make sure that I am tracking the tasks I need to complete. I then start working on the reports and checklists for the inspection.
9:15 am is break time for 15 minutes. The fellow graduates and I go to the waterfront, eat some light breakfast while watching the waters. Peaceful and awesome! We even feed the fish and crabs at the bottom of the jetty sometimes.
Coming back to my desk, I start working again on the checklists and reports. Inspection is planned for 1:15 pm, so I make sure that I am ready.
It's ship visit time! Edward (one of the graduates) and I, go on one of Cape Class boats in the yard. This gives us real experience as we go through the various parts of the ship and see the engineering projects we are working on hands-on. Sometimes an engineer is accompanying us to explain the various aspects, but this one was something we organized on our own. There is no better feeling than to see something you worked on actually get implemented on the ship itself.
These trips are regularly organized among the graduates so that we have a better understanding of ships and the process of making it. Departments across Austal are mostly happy to comply when it comes to these visits as long as there is no interruption to the work being performed.
I’m setting up the meeting room. I was asked by my manager (Quality department) to organize this meeting to discuss the non-conformance report I was working on for the Warranty department (non-conformance = processes, product, or procedures that are not following quality standards and need to be fixed). I put up the report I was working on. This will be the agenda of the meeting.
It’s is lunchtime. Most graduates come to the water jetty and eat lunch. We catch up and talk shop if needed. It’s a good opportunity to chat and bond.
Today I have a meeting scheduled with one of the Production Supervisors, looking at task that need to be done. We will be inspecting Bulcher Pipe Installation in the Midplant room of the ship. I perform the engineering inspection as the task is performed by the production worker.
Once the inspection is concluded, I come back and update the relevant documents on SharePoint. I then save all the pictures that I took during the inspection. I report the inspection to my manager and get his feedback as well. The data recorded will be used to improve the standard procedure for the task performed. This improves production procedures to build the ship in general. Every small nut and bolt counts when building a ship.
It’s a short break time again. Once again we go to the water jetty and chill, eat some light snack or a protein bar.
After the short break, I go and take an update from the supervisors and get information on what issues they are facing. I note down the quality issues they are facing for my weekly and monthly reports. All these non-conformances are reported to my HSEQ (Health Safety Environment and Quality) manager who then uses this information to bring quality improvements, by getting in touch with the various heads in the different departments and making them aware of the issues. This aids in bringing quality improvement to business processes overall. This is a good way to get familiar with actual work on the production floor and issues they face while making the ships.
I go back to my desk, put on my earbuds, and start working on the remaining agenda items and reports for the day. I take the help of my manager or colleagues if needed and aid them likewise. I update the data I collected that afternoon and plan my agenda for Monday.
Back home, I get into my running gear and go for a quick run and workout. I'm lucky I have an outdoor gym near my place.
Take a shower and cool off. Relaxed and refreshed, I start practicing my drawing while listening to music or running Youtube in the background of my living room. It's one of my hobbies.
I eat a late dinner and watch Netflix or anime I need to catch up on. Clean dishes do the laundry and stuff. Set everything up for the next day.
I start my gaming PC and blow some steam off playing multiplayer FPS games. I have won competitions in the past while in uni, almost went professional. But now, it's just to relax and have some fun. Sometimes work friends join in as well.
I meditate for 10 minutes to clear my mind before going to sleep. It helps reset me completely for the next day so that I can face it with a fresh state of mind. Listening to soothing sounds I go off to sleep.