Some how it has been 9 months since I started working and about a year since I graduated college. A person at Olin said to me that as you grow up, time speeds up. I now fully understand the impact of that statement.
I still remember my first days at work, my first launches, and the uncertainty that seemed to follow me daily. Messing up data is a fairly big problem.
Nine months later I feel like I almost know what I am doing. Two weeks ago I ran my first operation on my own. All on my own. It was a Saturday. If things went bad it was me, myself, and a lot of luck. (and the guys at the site if we lost data) My lead claimed he was not even going to answer his phone if I called in a panic. A few hours after the test started he called to check in on me to make sure I was ok. Somehow I pulled things off.
I also recently have been accepted to graduate school and will be starting a masters degree in electrical engineering part time this fall. Add to this that I am planning on taking the FE exam in October if I get my act together and get the application in on time.
I feel like things are really settling in. I still may be learning daily but I feel like I can grasp what is going on without the deer in headlights look I had for the first few months. Last week's idiotic move was not using proper (com) net etiquette on a net that went both to the site and customers. I won a head lock and a hair mess up from my lead for that one. As I said to a guy at the site after that moment "that falls under things they don't teach you in college". Turns out in this industry/job most of my life is in that category. VMS, telemetry stream formats, processing, half of the specialized applications I use on a daily basis are all under "things they don't teach you in college".
I am continually thankful I work with a great group of guys and have both a boss and lead who are great people. It really is the people who make the job, not the work. They all know I still only have half a clue what is going on. My boss remembers her first few years and is willing to help me figure out how to get things done and even grease the wheels when things need to get done quickly. My lead is fantastic at teaching, even if he grumbles about it some days.
The best part about this? I am giving a presentation at a data review in the morning. Olin prepared me for a lot of presentations, but not ones that have this much hanging on them. I keep thinking of SCOPE Expo with higher stakes. At least this time I can show up in jeans, leave after I present, and I bring backup to help with questions.