Playing the field of opportunity

Liam Heywood, from Newcastle, England left home to study in the United States. Now he is working at Omega in Ølen, and it was not that unlikely a turn of events.

Coming to work at Omega right after completing computer science studies; it was a fantastic opportunity, says the new system engineer, Liam Heywood.

Soccer is the common denominator of much of what has happened in Heywood's life. 

"It was important for me to be able to play soccer at a high level, and I wanted to study at a university," he says to explain how he found the direction that led him to the right place to study. 

With a soccer scholarship in his pocket, he travelled to the United States to examine the various study programs, and the choice eventually fell on Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee where he studied computer science for four years.

When the time came for him to start thinking about work, soccer was again the trigger. 

"I've played both with and against Neil Carlsen's Norwegian team, and I knew he worked in Omega, so I asked if it was possible to get an interview."    

The rest is, as one says, history. Heywood arrived in Ølen one Saturday in November this year and had his first working day at Omega's premises the following Monday.

In Omega, he is working as a system engineer, and he will be staying in Ølensvåg between 6 and 12 months. In the future, he will be working with Omega and Pims-related projects.

The opportunity for growth in the job was the main reason why he wanted to work for Omega. It was not just about being able to grow professionally, as an engineer, but also growing and developing as a human being. He had looked at interesting jobs in the United States as well, but they lacked this element that he found here: That the work is purposeful, as he describes it.

And that's what makes the most sense about working with computer science, Heywood explains: It's about solving problems, getting the puzzle done, and working creatively.

Liam Heywwod (number four from the right in the front row) with the Monkton Juniors U16 Boys teams playing in the Premier Division of Russell Foster League in England. Omega was the sponsor of Monkton Juniors in 2013. Photo: Neil Carlsen.

A few weeks has passed since he arrived in Ølen, and he has found a home in one of Omega's houses, where he lives with a handful of colleagues. He has also found that much is the same and at the same time very different. Climatically, Newcastle and Ølen are probably much the same, but for someone who has always lived in a city, there is perhaps a lot that will turn out different as well.

The Norwegian language belongs in the latter category for a newcomer. And although Heywood's working language is his mother tongue, he wants to learn Norwegian to communicate well with future customers.

And soccer? By no means has he retired, there are local teams to be checked out.