A security job taken in college has led to a career in manufacturing with BASF for Daniel Montgomery in less than three years.
How did this happen? Well, before getting to all that, there is more to the story.
He’s a recent Clemson University graduate and one of BASF’s newest employees, now working as a Continuous Improvement Engineer. But that’s not all: beyond his full-time day job, Montgomery is also a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard, and he co-owns a fishing bait and tackle store that’s aimed at mentoring youth in the Seneca, South Carolina community.
Montgomery has been interested in engineering from some of his earliest childhood memories, thanks to summers spent with family on the Island of St. Croix, where his grandfather served as the island’s chief engineer.
“Watching him inspired me to gear my life toward engineering,” Montgomery said.
When COVID shut down his in-person classes at Clemson, he decided to apply as a security guard with Allied Security, and was placed at the site in Seneca, where he worked for three years, getting to know many of the site’s employees.
“During those years, I was able to get to know people in all different roles at the site, and there are so many personalities and backgrounds – everyone meshes so well, and everyone is really friendly. They knew I was about to graduate, so they invited me to intern in January of this year, and then to apply for the role full-time,” Montgomery said.
Now, Montgomery spends his days working in a job he loves.
“I’ve always preferred numbers over letters, so the challenge of solving problems is something I enjoy – you can see instant results, and you get to make an impact improving efficiency and eliminating waste. Recently, we finished an EAF turnaround project, and during the 24-hour observation, we found ways to speed up the rebricking projects and to also save money and labor,” he said. “It’s really rewarding.”
Montgomery is also solving challenges in his local community. As a longtime hunter, fisher, and outdoors enthusiast, he is now the co-owner of The Outdoor Goods Store, a local bait and tackle business, in Seneca and a mentor for local youth, helping them build skills that will serve them for a lifetime.
When the previous owner of the business decided to retire, Montgomery and a friend, Azrin Jamison, purchased the business, continuing the owner’s legacy of getting people what they need, versus making a dollar. In the past year, they, have been rebranding the store and offering opportunities for youngsters in the community to learn – from offering at least 15 fishing seminars in fly, striper, bass, crappie, and trout fishing to teaching kids and teens how to camp.
“We want to teach the youth more about the outdoors. It’s always been a passion of mine, and now I can share what I know about fishing, camping, and being outdoors from all the field training I’ve received in the Army National Guard. Sometimes kids just come and hang out at the store and eat snacks, watch movies, or even help us out. We want to mentor them and help them reach their goals – whether that’s college, entrepreneurship or something else.” Montgomery said.
As for his goals? It may seem as though Montgomery has reached all his goals and deserves some rest, but he says he’s just getting started. First, they want to turn their store into an official non-profit, and then he hopes to be selected for flight school in the Army National Guard. Right now, he is enjoying his new role at BASF, but one day he’d like to expand his skillset to help even more people:
“In 10 or 15 years down the road, I’d like to use my engineering, flight school, and military experience to accumulate flight hours and one day work with a hospital as a medical pilot.” Montgomery said.