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It was long time, about twenty years ago. I had just graduated from Middle East Technical University, in Ankara, Turkey with a Food Engineering degree. I had so many ideas and dreams about what I wanted my career to look like. I knew for sure that I wanted to work in the food industry. But, I wondered, where should I start?
A chance discovery
I was so much looking forward to go home to Bucharest in Romania. But I questioned whether I could find work there after living for more than six years in Turkey. One day, I came across a newspaper ad with a familiar company’s name. It was a well-known Turkish brand – loved by many beer consumers … Efes Pilsen. It was a beer that could be found everywhere—restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. Immediately, I knew I had a chance. I could speak, write and translate in Turkish from Romanian. Plus, it was in the alcoholic beverage sector, a subset of my chosen field. I couldn’t wait to apply!
As a new food engineering graduate from a well-recognized university, and with my unique language skills, I was hired very quickly.
An unexpected role
My first day in the office was quite an interesting one. It was all about getting to know my manager as his executive assistant. I was helping him understand the laws, legislation and rules related to constructing a brewery and taking a $60 million investment off the ground in a country where he didn’t know the language.
There was very little about my new role that resembled what I had learned in college. I started to wonder, where did all my efforts of getting into food industry go?
At first, I found myself just translating all day long, but this quickly turned into working with a company that would successfully launch one of the largest breweries in East Europe. Interbrew Efes Brewery, later on known as AB-Inbev with a capacity of 60,000 hl, equivalent to 690,000 beer cases.
A brand-new opportunity
To get to that point, the company had started to import all the brewing, fermentation, bottling and kegging equipment to get ready for the first brew of the house. I helped along the way with getting approved import permits and knowing legislations at that time.
As we were receiving brand new equipment, my manager approached me. “I know just the right job for you,” he said one day after working with me for more than six months. “I believe you are the perfect person to set-up our laboratory!”
I was thrilled he saw this potential in me – it was something I knew I could do. He strongly believed that I would be a successful Quality Manager one day, a manager that would be in charge of her own big laboratory, not only one but four different laboratories.
Life in the laboratory
Well, that was the moment I embarked on a journey towards discovering my true passion for quality management. As I began setting up the lab, I discovered that each task came quite so naturally to me – and I loved every moment of it!
I found out that my passion in the field of quality testing and management was something that would stay with me forever. The lab quickly became a new reality of my life – and a second home to me.
Feeling right at home
Anything related to numbers, testing and achieving accurate results felt like more than just numbers to me … each time, I felt like a scientist making an exciting new discovery. The process of setting up new test methods and calibrating new lab equipment also energized me – again, these tasks felt like a natural fit for my talents.
I wanted to share everything that I knew with the lab technicians that I had just hired. People around me made a big difference in making me noticed that I was indeed naturally passionate about quality.
It was a strong revelation, an “Aha” moment that made me realize that quality was going to be a strong part of my life. Today, I’ve been working in the field of quality management for 15 years. Each day, I continue to get more proficient, but I still never lose the spark that made me fall in love with this field so many years ago.
Who am I? I am an accomplished, open-minded and refined quality management consultant in Calgary. If you’re looking for someone to get your quality requirements up to date or Just the Right Quality Management System, feel free to contact me to have an open discussion on your particular quality challenges.