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21 Jan 2021

Humans of Kent: Teodor Banica, Construction Manager, Kazakhstan

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It's time to see the big picture

I grew up in Romania’s communist regime (1947 – 1989) which was one of the most difficult periods in my country’s modern history, with long-lasting effects on people’s everyday lives even until today. After the communist party came to power in Romania, a profound transformation process began. I found school to be quite interesting because of all we got to learn but we had limited access to books and movies. In the early 1980s living standards started to degrade where people had to queue for bread, meat, fruits and gasoline while hot water, electricity and national television was available only for a couple of hours a day. Heating during winter was unheard of.

When I was 21 years old, I was working as an Engineer in Romania, and the new democratic system was finally in place. I was offered an opportunity in an Italian Company that opened new horizons for me and soon, I moved to Kuwait in 1999. The process of getting used to new cultures and routines living abroad, is often part of the adventure. You learn so much about different people, their mentality and cultures. I give my schooling credit because it was easier for me to integrate into new systems after arriving and settling in a foreign place. Living away from family and friends is often the hardest part of being an expat. As a son, husband and father, I had to make sacrifices of missing out on precious key moments in my family’s life in order to provide for them. This is when I found the importance of communication.

I’ve been working on projects with Kent for 13 years on and off, but I keep coming back to Kent because I love the way people work here and the friendly environment present here. I first started working with Kent in 2006 as an E&I Superintendent and the for the next 11 years, I went through multiple large-scale projects located in Kazakhstan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sakhalin and Kuwait in Construction and Commissioning stages. Since I spend much time on-site, my team and I rely on each other, we understand that we’re all on the same boat and we’re in this together… this has created long-lasting relationships amongst us.

I was once offered a good position at a firm in Singapore and with that came the chance to explore a new culture and way of life when my mentor in Kent, Dave Wilson, with whom I had a very close professional relationship, called me to work for his projects in Tengiz – I joined him without a second thought. Sometimes I would get lost in the small details and he would say, “Teo… it’s time to see the big picture.” Some words just open your future. His words were a pioneer in mine. Almost 2 years ago, I was promoted to be a Construction Manager, a position that brings me many professional satisfactions. I have always sought to develop professionally, and this position comes as a fulfilment of the experience I have gained in different projects and countries – each project having its own particularities that help me in my current position.

After the completion of every project, I’m proud of our work as a team that we complete on time, on budget and where everyone goes home safe. I take pride in saying that in the 20 years of my working on-site, there have been zero injuries and fatalities on my projects. Safety of my people is my biggest priority. I’m close to retirement but looking at the big picture, I can say that I’ve had a fulfilling career and a great adventure.

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