A day in the life of Brian Phakathi, Graduate Engineer at ArcelorMittal South Africa

Brian will soon be being appointed as an engineer at ArcelorMittal South Africa. He obtained his engineering degree through an ArcelorMittal scholarship, and then joined a two-year graduate programme for engineering candidates, that he successfully completed.

When he’s at work on the plant, one of his tasks involve implementing actions to reduce business and safety risks, and when he’s off work, Brian likes to skate, read and meditate.

Here's a glimpse into a day in Brian’s life.

What does your average day look like?

I like to start my day at 5am by doing my bed and opening the curtains to make me feel that my day has begun. If I am not finalizing a presentation or a report due that morning, I do a few light stretches and some meditation to feel one with my body. If time allows, I make myself a breakfast shake to drink while driving to work.

My typical day at work involves (but is not limited to) compiling my daily task plan, attending meetings for the day, taking a walk through the plant to interact with personnel and machinery, investigating causes for delays in my area of responsibility, implementing actions to reduce business and safety risks and interacting with various stakeholders, among others.

The first thing I like doing after work is to unwind with music or funny videos. This is usually followed by my third meal for the day. On some days I go out skating, read a book or exercise. If my work days get really busy, I like to catch up with work commitments in the evening to ease the pressure for the next day.

What are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about visual design, from abstract art to architecture. I love how a picture will not only tell a story but evoke emotions that can alter a person's decisions (for the better). The beauty that can be created from a carefully curated slide in PowerPoint to a 3D animation in Autodesk Inventor really keeps me loving my job.

Tell us how you balance work and personal time.

My work-life balance is a constant work in progress. I have learnt that I achieve a lot more when my time and focus are concentrated in one direction. With the support of my supervisor and mentor, and with weekly reflections and planning, I am able to achieve a sustainable work-life balance.