I am no longer an Intel employee. “Free at last” or something like that. My exit interview was painless. I’ve known the person who closed me out forever and she made it a very good experience and we mostly spent the time catching up and talking about future plans.
First the disappointing news. I got word from XXXX that I didn’t make the 3rd cut and get a site interview. This is a company to watch, one of two big ethanol producers in the US. In my opinion when all shakes out, these guys will still be standing. They have the absolute lowest “footprint” ethanol production. I was studying and getting interested in their water recovery technology, their advanced enzyme chemistries to extract C5 and C6 sugars from cellulose, their use of landfill gas to power their refineries, etc. Not to be, but it was a nice dream while it lasted.
I have a site visit with another company on the 31st. They are taking their time which is okay because so much else is starting to percolate.
I have met some awesome people in the biofuel, bioenergy, bio-waste treatment arena. They are doing interesting cutting edge work and have turned me on to more people and some awesome information sources. It just keeps growing. But out of this I have sent “cold” emails to C-level folk at 3 different companies. One had me call and talk with him and at the end of the phone call said “send me your resume’, we need you.” Maybe something will come of it, maybe not but I have time to let something happen. And also out of this applied to 2 jobs. One was through a recruiter and he called maybe 8 hours after I applied. He wanted to know “how I knew so much”. All I did was write a simple paragraph outlining the need for the bioenergy industry to pay attention to process control. He said I had it exactly right. Mostly an educated guess, but when 2 different companies start up $400M facilities and then have to shut them down for months to “dial things in”, well that sounds a lot like my early experiences at Texas Instruments and my early days at Intel. I any event, I have 5 seeds planted, 2 of which have already shown interest.
Pharmaceuticals on the other hand have been tougher to crack. Most of the people I have connected with have been in sales, or in the pure research end and have no contact at all with manufacturing or facilities. That changed on Friday, I met a guy who started with a pharma company doing supply chain. He said to search on “technical operations” as that is what such stuff is called in his company. (he is also setting me up to speak with a couple folk from technical operations) Amazing when you know what organizations are called. My search turned up 2 really good positions. One is based in North Carolina to be the “soup to nuts” program manager for a new plant they are building in Brazil. The other is a Global Facilities Excellence Director. I am excited to see what response I get on these.
Beyond this, I have a growing backlog of people to talk to and 6 or so jobs/companies to thoroughly research and decide whether or not to apply. (well I’ve already decided I’ll apply to 3, but need to do enough research to write a decent cover letter).
In sum, I have a safe play, I’ll keep playing the momentum in the “bio” sphere to see if something breaks open, and keep chipping away at the pharmaceutical world. It certainly isn’t boring and I keep getting enough chips to want to play a while longer.
We’ll see where I’m at in a couple weeks.