The vast array of careers in the packaging industry can be hard to quantify as the technical opportunities sit alongside sales, administrative and financial, as well as business development, communications and R&D. Here is an insight into the career development of product quality expert Oleksandr Grynko, whose background in chemistry has seen his work life evolve into a senior management role with a multinational plastic packaging manufacturer.
Highly experienced and dedicated to integrating his extensive chemistry knowledge into his work, Oleksandr is thoughtful, considered and approachable.
Growing up in a small city in the centre of Ukraine, Oleksandr starts by sharing his education, and how his early inspiration led to his career in the packaging industry. He says, “After going to school in my home city, I moved to Dnipro, although it wasn’t called Dnipro then. Here, I studied at college for four years. I have loved chemistry since high school; I love to watch the process of one substance magically turning into another. There are countless chemistries – inorganic, organic, physical, quantum, analytical – and I chose analytical chemistry at college. But it wasn’t enough! So, I continued on to university and studied ‘trendy’ polymer chemistry and completed graduate school.”
Even though Oleksandr has always loved chemistry, he also dreamed of becoming a seaman as a child and travelling the world across the seas. But the ocean’s loss is the packaging industry’s gain, and he continued studying chemistry instead of taking to the waves.
Further studies in chemistry
After Oleksandr’s post graduate studies that saw him gain a PhD in Chemistry, adding analytical chemistry and chemistry of polymers to his ever-expanding knowledge, he took his first professional job in a large agricultural chemical company, where he was in charge of the chemical
Oleksandr continues, “This was only a two-month job, as I then joined the company that became RETAL in October 2000. The company was very different to what it is today, it was all just beginning. There have been so many big changes and I am pleased to be a part of it. There were only seven machines at the start! It’s great for me to always be involved in the process; building new factories, new opportunities, new developments...new, new, new!”
Initially the only engineer in the chemical laboratory and then progressing to chief of the lab with a responsibility for a team of experts, Oleksandr has enjoyed that his career development has run in parallel to the development of RETAL. He says, “I like to make the most of the opportunities I am given, but without making fast changes that are not carefully planned and assessed. That way, we can be sure that our progress is sustainable. I like to be involved with the progress of the laboratory and our capabilities - raw materials, closures development – to make the most of our equipment and the skills of the team.”
Having moved with his family to Klaipeda from Dnipro around eight years ago, Oleksandr is happy to continue with his outdoor hobbies of biking and fishing all together, no doubt looking out to sea and planning where their next travelling adventures will take them.
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