Meet Sandhya Pulikkot, Project Engineer at Energy & Petrochemical division of Compressor Technique business area. Sandhya explains how she develops her career in Atlas Copco Services Middle East.
I joined Atlas Copco as a Project Engineer, the role I had in my previous organization. Atlas Copco is a well-known brand and an opportunity to work with Atlas Copco and the challenges of the new role made it exciting.
How did you eventually get the role of Project Engineer, and when?
I worked as an external employee for one year before becoming a regular employee and Project Engineer. I've had the role of Contract/Project Engineer for nine years now.
Was there a formal development program that helped train and prepare you for the role?
The initial year was on-the-job training.
Was someone in particular supporting your competence development and journey to take this role?
My immediate managers were always supportive. Classroom and online competence development programs were provided to help me handle the complex oil and gas projects.
Can you describe the challenges you experienced in your development to take the role, or while holding the job?
As part of the job, I am the first point of contact for customers including end users and Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) consultants.
I'm handling multinationals, and each customer demands an immediate response for their project queries or issues while I am also usually handling more than one project (depending upon the project size).
Was there someone in particular supporting you during challenges you have experienced in the role? How did he or she help you?
Whenever there have been any complex issues in a project, I received guidance to solve the issue. I was never left alone without any guidance or support when there was an issue.
What do you like most about this job?
Each day is interesting since there is always something new to learn, to deal with and solve.
Irrespective of the size of the project, it brings its own set of challenges. The opportunity to work with various customers – end users & EPCs – multinationals and multilingual, developing customer relationships and trust, representing Atlas Copco in meetings and seeing things from the client side gives a sense of pride.
As a woman in a male-dominated role, are you treated with equal respect by colleagues and customers?
Yes, 90-95% will be men, but colleagues and customers treat women in the industry with respect, once we prove that we are in no way inferior to any man in the industry. In short, respect needs to be earned.
What would you say to other women who may be interested in taking a similar role, but don't have the usual technical background for it?
If you are ready to work hard and learn, there is no need to be scared. Nobody starts already knowing everything. People become an expert by doing it again and again and you shouldn't hesitate just because you are a woman.