How Kirsten Started Reaching Her Potential

How Kirsten Started Reaching Her Potential

When I started working at Opti-Num in 2014, I had great hopes for doing more mathematical problem solving, and for working on projects that made a difference. Since then, the work I’ve done has exceeded my expectations in every way.

I started out in the consulting team, and found it exciting and challenging to work on projects that ranged from electrical transformer design, to operational process monitoring in mining, and to operational risk management in finance. During this time, I grew a lot. The management team at Opti-Num takes special care in developing their employees, and they gave me the room to try new things while helping me not to set anything on fire! Opti-Num is really a place where you can trust the people you work with, and walk into a customer meeting knowing that someone has your back. Furthermore, Opti-Num helped me grow from someone who had a small amount of on-site project management experience, into someone who could manage a project from design to delivery.

From consulting I moved into Application engineering, which was an exciting change. The application engineering role is really challenging as we deal with a wide range of diverse problems in a very dynamic environment. I really enjoyed the growth that I experienced, which taught me how to step out of the technical problem solving and find a way to apply that knowledge to what the real key pain of a customer’s project or business unit may be. Since 2016, it’s been a real privilege to work with my team and help build up every individual to their full potential (as they do with me).

Opti-Num supported me with my MSc in systems modelling, not only financially but also with their time and expertise in the tools. One of the best things about Opti-Num is that you are surrounded by some of the smartest people in the country, who are experts in the tools, and who are always curious and enthusiastic about helping you solve a problem or just listening to what you’re trying to do (and watching you figure it out as you speak).

When I moved to Opti-Num I had one great dream, which was to become entrenched in technical problem solving that was based in mathematical modelling and control. I also wanted to find a place that could compliment my identity crisis of being firmly planted between academia and industry. As it turns out, Opti-Num is one of those rare companies that actually lives in two worlds, one deeply academic and grounded in technical research, and another in commercial industry for the practical application of such principles to drive the economy. Given how much has happened so far, I’m excited to see how Opti-Num develops me more!

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