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Upskilling opened new career doors, better pay, and more free time

Adriaan Jenkins

Adriaan Jenkins

22+ years

Press Operator

Press Operator

Pactiv Evergreen Inc

Plant Superintendent

Plant Superintendent

PanTheryx, Inc.

As documented by Adriaan Jenkins.

My Background

I have two decades of production-related experience. I spent the last 15 years working as a press operator at Pactiv Evergreen. The company manufactures and produces boxes and packaging materials for prominent restaurants and fast-food franchises.

I led the union in the largest plant in Pactiv Evergreen’s Paper Division. I looked after the production machinery’s functions. The plant has over 300 employees during the slow season, rising close to 400 during peak demand times. It’s a 24/7, year-round operation with products covering food packaging items such as paper cups, plastic lids, and food service containers and cartons.

Then Came the Realization

After over a decade of working with great people in a secure position, I eventually realized that my career goals weren’t aligned with the organization’s goals. My position entailed me working with the corporate union, but I wanted something different and something more. I wanted to get into project management.

But to make my dreams of a new career in project management come true, I needed to upskill.

In Search of Knowledge

I believe that the suitable courses, especially in the areas of project management and Lean management, would help boost my resume and help me land a new job. I felt confident because the discipline of project management is everywhere.

And so, I began searching through different online platforms to find the ones that best aligned with my goals and could give me the upskilling I wanted. My search led me to Simplilearn.

Simplilearn’s Upskilling Resources Were the Difference-Maker

I went through many platforms and found the Simplilearn platform to be the easiest to use. In addition, Simplilearn customer service is a top-notch team that helped me choose a bundle where I could take multiple courses, something other platforms lacked. I took the PMP Certification Training course and the Lean SixSigma course.

The courses were to the point and aligned with the current industry standards and market trends. The curriculum and blended learning were instrumental in choosing Simplilearn as my learning partner.

Post Graduate Program in Lean Six Sigma
Masterclasses by Faculty from Isenberg, UMass Amherst and Senior Consultants from KPMG

Before and After

When working with Pactiv Evergreen Inc., I worked between 12 and 16 hours daily. I never got enough time to spend with my family. I got married ten years ago. Two and a half years ago, God blessed us with our first son, and this year, two months back, we welcomed another family member, our second son.

I completed the Project Management Certification in March this year, and in September 2022, I got a new job with PanTheryx, including a 45 percent salary hike! I landed the interview after I put the certifications on my resume.

During the interview, I told my employers about the skills I learned from Simplilearn’s courses. This showed them that I was a go-getter, which really helped cement my getting the job.

Although the massive pay hike is great, what I cherish the most is that I have enough time to spend with my family, which cannot be calculated in terms of money. For example, I work eight hours a day now, and I get enough time to spend with my sons, especially my newborn. In fact, since I started my new job, I got my first consecutive weekends off, which I spent with them. That’s something that hasn’t happened in a long time. I am really happy that I get to be there for them every night.

What Does the Future Hold?

Although I feel that I am set for the next five years. I see myself definitely coming back to Simplilearn for more courses in Agile Scrum Master and program management, among other courses. I am not even thinking about trying any other platform.

Meanwhile, my off time will be spent being there for my young children and also continue learning new skills.