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How James’ Choice to Do Engineering is helping us do MORE

Since receiving three awards for outstanding achievement in the final year of his Industrial Engineering Degree, James Meadows has joined RCL FOODS as an Engineering Management Trainee. Despite clearly having a knack for Engineering, before his studies, James was unsure of his career and his future. One decision changed his path and is now helping us on our path of delivering more.

Upon meeting with a career guidance counsellor one afternoon, he was left with a choice that would decide the rest of his life: farming or engineering? However, after spending an afternoon with the team at RCL FOODS, James decided that Industrial Engineering was what he wanted to do. “From that afternoon on, I had no doubt over what I wanted to study,” he explained in a recent interview we had with him. And so, the relationship with James was set.

Since that afternoon, James endured a sometimes trying time studying in Pretoria away from loved ones. “The most constant challenge throughout varsity was being away from my family,” said James. Through constant homesickness and running on fumes of sleep, James finished his qualification with flying colours. His can-do outlook is, without a doubt, a contributing factor to his success then and now. For James, half-measures are not an option: “Throughout my whole life, I have believed that every single task should be completed with 100% of what you have to offer.” It seems this philosophy served him well in his studies and already at RCL FOODS.

Through working over holiday periods, James learned the RCL FOODS way, and when it came time to leave in 2019, he decided it was where he wanted to be. Aspiring to progress to a managerial role and then an executive role, James has big aspirations within the company, and his constant desire to go beyond in his career is something we admire. His dream to go beyond doesn’t stop there!

James is a shining example of a great engineer. He is constantly learning, he says, adding that “If I ever wonder if something could be done slightly better or faster, I spend time thinking about it and then do research to see if a solution is available. If something similar is available, then I manipulate it to work the way I want it or create something from scratch if I can’t find anything.” It’s this problem-solving mind and constant going beyond that solidifies that engineering was the right choice to make all those years ago.

James’ skills as an engineer are not the only things helping him in his role. His family values, his persistence, and his ingenuity are what really set him apart. In addition, James’ ambition and drive to do more not only in his career advancement, but in going beyond with solutions-oriented thinking is why we admire him.