Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Job Going Well

I've been an analyst at AME Mineral Economics for a couple of weeks now, and I'm enjoying it so far.

Initially they've had me working on two consulting reports, providing general overviews of particular commodity markets for clients that want to raise capital for a new project or sell their stake in an existing project. Some of the relevant material was already written for the regular quarterly and monthly market analyses, so I could reuse these graphs and text. Where new work was required, I had to talk with the more experienced analysts to get up to speed, then write some of the new bits myself and leave other sections for the real experts. It was a good way to learn what services AME provides and how they maintain all their information. I also learnt that my co-workers are generous and helpful people, as I had to rely on them a lot! Soon I'll get to work on researching and collating the underlying data, which should keep me busy for a few months.

I'm amused by the company name, which used to be Australian Mineral Economics. The marketing director realised that this was too parochial, as we analyse projects around the world and deal mainly with the implications for international trade. Since the company's initials already had brand recognition, the official name was changed to AME Mineral Economics. So now the A in AME stands for AME. Completely unintentional I'm sure, but the nerd in me likes working for a recursive acronym.

Another funny thing is how the job matches up with some of my early tendencies. I learnt to count at quite a young age, maybe even before starting school. We lived near the main train line running west from Sydney, and I used to count the freight carriages on passing coal trains. Now I'm doing a more sophisticated version of the same activity, trying to summarise all the supply and demand sources for various minerals. I'll soon be assigned to update one of the annual Mine Cost reports, and it might even be coal. Note that I also went through a youthful phase of looking up at the stars and wanting to be an astronaut, before spending most of my twenties as a research astronomer. I'm starting to wonder if growing up made any difference to me.

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