Darcie, executive assistant at OCI Nitrogen North America, Iowa talks to us about community, an unexpected change in career path, and how she has been part of the OCI Nitrogen North America site from the very start.
Q: Darcie, how would you introduce yourself to someone for the first time outside of work?
I have an eight-year-old son who is just starting to get into sports, so often when I meet someone for the first time it’s at a ball game, so these days I am typically Case’s Mom. We are playing a lot of baseball at the moment, and my husband is the President of our town’s ball association, so we spend a lot of time at the ballpark. Community is important to us, and the ballpark is a hub for our community. We’ve done a lot of revamping and trying to make it into a place people want to use, installing a playground and basketball courts, and my husband has spent a lot of time working hard on it, so I’m supporting him, spending time there, working at the concession stand, organizing kids and keeping people in line!
I was born and raised in this town. I left for college and moved across the state for a while, but when I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to be back here, close to my parents and to put my kid in the same school system that I went through. I really love being part of a community that is supportive and where you know everybody, it makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger than just yourself.
Q: What did you study at college?
A: I actually went to college as an accounting major, but after a semester realized I needed something more social and people focused. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went into communications thinking it would be a broad degree that would fit my personality better than numbers and spreadsheets.
Q: Why did you choose OCI?
It was really exciting when they announced that they were building a new plant in our area. I liked the idea of being part of it and helping to build something from the ground up. I applied and was lucky enough to be awarded the position, and I’m glad I took that step when I did!
Q: Are there any interesting projects you’ve worked on?
A: It has to be the company and this site as a whole. When I started, it was brand new and there were no buildings, it was just an empty lot. We were in trailers and to have watched the whole thing come together and grow into the plant it is today has been amazing. Even if I didn’t have a direct hand in actually physically building it, I have been part of the project right from the start.
Q: What’s the culture like at OCI?
A: It is family oriented, and team driven. I grew up in the middle of a cornfield where there is not a lot of diversity, so this is probably the most diverse company I’ve ever worked for, and it’s probably the most the most diverse company in our area too. I love being able to work in an environment where you can learn so much about other people’s cultures and everybody is so accepting and curious, it’s really refreshing.
Q: Finally, what career advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
A: I would say that whatever you think you are going to do, you are going to do the opposite. I started in accounting and now I am here!
As an 18-year-old, there’s so much to learn about yourself, what you want and where you’re going. If you are one of the lucky ones that knows from early on, that is awesome, but for the vast majority of people, that’s not the case. So, I would say be OK with change, be OK with new doors opening and stepping through them even if it is scary or daunting, or not something you pictured for yourself. Everything and every opportunity that comes your way is worth giving a chance.
To find out more about a career at OCI, visit our careers site: https://oci-global.com/careers/