Take this MSc as a golden opportunity for you, you really do get as much out as you put in.
Year studied MSc Geoscience Research
Geology with Physical Geography
Graduate Geophysicist, Aecom
What did you do after graduation and how did you get this job?
After finishing the MSc, I took a year off as a gap year to decide whether I wanted to pursue further academia or to go into industry. I decided that I wanted to go into industry as I had just spent the last 5 years in academia, and wanted to gain industry experience. I then started to pursue any job opportunities open to me, I cannot stress enough that a job will not come to you, it is up to you to find it. I had a friend who was working at AECOM at the time and sent him my C.V. Whilst waiting to hear back from AECOM, I got in contact with a small geophysical consultancy company and offered to do an unpaid internship, just for the experience of it. During that internship, I was invited to an interview with AECOM and subsequently got offered the job.
What does your job involve?
My job involves a large amount of site based work collecting a variety of geophysical data types followed up by processing, analysing and reporting on said data in the office. In all, I would say it’s a 40/60 split between site work and office work, I am currently preparing for 8 weeks on site in Serbia! We have recently acquired a 3-component passive seismic sensor, which I am in charge of researching and testing. When I’m not on site or working in the office, I’m posing for photos whilst pretending to work.
What did you learn on the MSc Geoscience Research which helped you get the job, or helps with your role now?
The MSc has been invaluable for me on both a personal and professional level. It has made me develop skills which, whilst may not be new, hadn’t really been used before e.g. time management and data analysis. The platform to present your research to people gave me the confidence in my work and in myself where I now feel confident in any scenario, whether that be solo managing a project and making sure I hit a deadline and budget constraint, to presenting to a managing director of AECOM UK.
Do you have any advice for current/prospective MSc Geoscience Research students interested in a similar career?
Take this MSc as a golden opportunity for you, you really do get as much out as you put in. Having MSc after your name is pointless if you haven’t pushed yourself during it, found out what you’re really capable of and built your confidence. Take any opportunity that comes your way, demonstrate on field trips/in practicals. Talk to the lecturers about their research and what they’re doing. If you are interested in something, look it up, go and see whatever it is if you can. Nothing is going to be handed to you, its up to you to do it and that drive is what employers want to see. Don’t expect a job to appear out of thin air for you as soon as you finish, start looking and planning NOW!