This edition of ‘Highlights from my travels’ is slightly different as we have three travellers sharing their experience of working abroad!
Beena Raorane, Kishor Bhamare and Hardik Baraiya, all travelled from the Mumbai office to Aberdeen and here’s what they made of it:
What's your job titles and how long have you been with Sparrows?
Beena: We all joined the company over the summer, so between three to five months
Hardik: I’m a project engineer working with an electrical background and working in automation and control. Kishor is a senior project engineer in automation and control and Beena is an electrical project engineer.
How long were you in Aberdeen for?
Kishor: We spent two months there, we were invited over by Stephen Currie as part of our training and to help us understand Sparrows procedures etc.
What work were you involved with there?
B: One of the main projects was the Anasuria FPSO forward crane control system upgrade, getting involved in electrical design.
H: We also had the changes to get involved with the Kittiwake and QU ETAP projects as well as getting training on documentation, MIPEG control system and crane working system.
What was a typical day like?
B: We travelled by bus from our hotel in the city centre to the office, which would take about 30 minutes. When we first came here we had to take time to understand how the electrical team works, but once we understood the procedures we were able to get on with the tasks assigned to us.
H: In the mornings we’d go over what is being completed that day or any queries from the previous day’s work, but when there were any issues the rest of the team were there to help.
K: We’d work on electrical panel drawings. We carried out various drawings like GA drawing, block diagram, control panel schematic and interconnection diagrams. We also worked on the programming of PLC-HMI. And we got hands on experience operating a crane at the training facility which is about 20 minutes from the office!
How did your daily routine differ from home?
B: I found the food a bit difficult as I’m vegetarian and I didn’t find a lot of good options apart from at some Indian restaurants we tried in town. In the evening at home I would be doing household chores but here I was able to enjoy some rest and watching TV.
H: The sunset time was very early so I’d feel sleepy after finishing work. We’d go out to local restaurants for dinner around Union Street.
K: The commute was a bit different, at home we go by train and it takes longer than the 20 minute bus ride in Aberdeen.
What were your first impressions when you arrived?
B: The weather in Aberdeen is too cold for us, the average temperature in Mumbai is 30oC in September but when we arrived it was about 16oC. In our last week there it was getting down to freezing temperatures at night and frosty in the mornings.
H: It was really peaceful. Very silent everywhere and no violence, it was very impressive
K: Mumbai is one of the most crowded metros in the world, here we didn’t see a single person on the street when we travelled from the airport to our hotel.
Was there anything about Aberdeen which surprised you?
B: The most surprising thing was the sunset time in November as it starts to get dark at 4pm.
K: It reminded us of the Harry Potter films when we arrived in the city.
What did you enjoy most about the trip?
B: The office environment. Everyone was supportive and I feel proud to work at Sparrows.
H: Definitely the support from everyone, not just in the electrical department but all the teams.
K: The weather conditions. We saw cold, wind, sunshine and rain all in one day.
What was the most challenging thing?
H: Working on the projects and completing the training at the same time.
K: The weather conditions! By November it was cold walking on the streets in the wind.
How did you spend your time outside of work?
B: The evenings were mainly lazy at the hotel, watching TV and speaking to family. Weekends were much different, we went to places like the Cairngorm mountains, Inverness, Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle and Stonehaven.
H: There were so many places nearby, like Newburgh’s Seal beach and Balmoral Castle.
K: When we arrived in September the autumn conditions were good for getting out and seeing the beautiful nature. As well as the places around Scotland, we saw the Aberdeen Maritime Museum and the Union Terrance Gardens. We also enjoyed a firework display at Aberdeen beach for bonfire night. By mid-November we were getting frozen by the cold and feeling the zero-degree temperature.
What was the stand out moment from your trip?
K: When we got to operate the crane at the training centre we were thrilled!
What did you find most valuable about your trip?
B: Thanks to Stevie for inviting us over to work with the electrical team, and thanks to everyone in the team who supported us while we were there.
H: Getting the opportunity to visit and learning the working culture of Sparrows.
K: Getting the training and knowledge from our colleagues and senior personnel. Everyone has been kind and we experienced the culture and hospitality of this country.