What exactly do you do?

I’m currently enrolled on the Reef Subsea graduate scheme. The scheme was designed to give graduates the opportunity to learn about the offshore Oil, Gas and Renewables industry in order to provide them with the best possible opportunity to build a career in the industry. My programme is a mix of learning and real work. At the moment I’m in the process of learning as much as possible about the industry and the business before specialising in a specific area I can add value. My programme is centred around three, six month long rotations, focussing on two different facets of the business on each rotation. The business is a multi-service company in one of the most competitive industries in the world so there’s always things to learn and opportunities to get hands on.

Apart from formal qualifications, what other skills or characteristics do you need?

The graduate scheme is aimed at graduates with degrees that you wouldn’t automatically associate with the Offshore Energy industry; it almost serves as a conversion programme for those outside the industry. The Offshore Energy industry has suffered in recent years from a real dearth of young talent so there is currently a huge investment in (of both time and money) being made into recruiting the next generation of workers.

My programme involves long periods away from home, away from friends and family and being immersed into new cultures and languages. This comes with benefits as well as challenges and you often need to be pragmatic in your approach, however, these challenges are only short term and will be of great benefit to future career progression, as you gain a full understanding of the different laws, regulations and cultures in the industry.

What sort of organization do you work for?

I work for a service organisation within the Oil, Gas and Renewables industry. We provide subsea services ranging from dredging and ploughing to subsea construction.

If this wasn’t your first job after your studies, what did you do in between?

After university I worked full time as a bar-manager in order to reduce a number of my debts. This wasn’t what I wanted to do at the time but the state of the economy meant that jobs were difficult to come by in my local area. I definitely think this time has helped me appreciate the opportunity I have been given and made me more determined to be successful.

Do you travel within the UK or overseas very much?

As mentioned earlier. My current role is as part of the Reef Subsea Graduate Scheme; I work three, six month long, rotations in different locations, in order to give me a full understanding of the different cultures, laws and regulations of each of the three major operating countries in the industry.
My first rotation has been spent in Bergen, Norway, which has given me a real insight into the different working cultures between Norway and the UK. My next rotation will be spent in Houston, Texas, working on projects in the Gulf of Mexico and finally Aberdeen, working on projects based in the UK sector of the North Sea.

Do you work a regular length day/week or are shifts involved?

I work a regular office day. I start around 8 am and finish around 4 pm, but these times are flexible depending on how busy I am in the office. I also try to take a couple of short trips home to see my family and friends wherever possible.

What do you enjoy about your job?

My job is fantastic. It gives me the opportunity to travel the world and experience different lifestyles and cultures. It also allows me the opportunity to carry on and focus my learning whilst serving as a bridge between university and a career, all this in an industry that might otherwise me inaccessible to me.

However, the best thing about my job is it opportunity it presents for the future. I can safely say I wouldn’t have receive the same support and opportunities in any other job at the moment and this is the most enjoyable aspect for me; using this support to further my knowledge to overcome any challenges so that I can build a successful future for myself.

What advice or extra information do you wish you’d had before starting this career?

I wish I had known just how vast and diverse this industry was, I like many people thought this industry was very specialised and the large majority of jobs were based around engineering, whereas this is not the case. I also didn’t realise the wide range of companies involved in the industry, I thought that the industry was dominated by a small number of major players, the truth is there are hundereds of companies working together and competing which makes it a very interesting and dynamic industry to be a part of.

I also wish I had known about the level of investment currently being made in young talent in the industry and the structure and support you can receive from companies such as Reef Subsea and Inside Industry

What position would you like to hold in five years’ time?

The interesting aspect of this question is that I’m still learning about the industry so I’m currently unable to state where I can best add value to the Reef Subsea group. As I say, this is such an exciting, fast paced industry and there are such levels of diversity and scope in the business, who knows where I’ll be?

In five years’ time I would hope that by then I have been able to add value to the business and repay the huge amounts of time and effort they have invested in me, whilst still being in a position to progress, learn and make the most of the many and diverse opportunities the business and industry can offer. I’d like to see myself in a successful commercial position where I can put the knowledge and expertise I gained during my time on the Graduate Scheme, to good use.

Longer term I’d like to move into a management position where I can help and nurture the next batch of Reef Subsea graduates through their programmes to aid the continued growth and success of the business and the industry as a whole.