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"I've been given chances here that I didn't expect to have by this stage of my career."
Can you give us a quick overview of your role?
I’m an environmental consultant, currently based in the Dubai office. Initially my role was mainly focused around waste management and land quality, but I’m finding myself doing broader Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) within the oil and gas sector, amongst other industrial developments. There are plenty of opportunities for this work in Dubai, as well as the broader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Middle East region, with the industry constantly evolving.
You’ve been here around 18 months. What have you done in that time, and what attracted you to us in the first place?
We have a big name for maritime in Liverpool, where I’m from. Royal HaskoningDHV was also a name that kept cropping up when I was at university. Once I’d got my masters, and a few years’ experience with a small consultancy in Birmingham under my belt, I applied for a role in the Liverpool office. Within two weeks I’d got the job! I worked in the Liverpool office for a year as part of the waste management and contaminated land team before being given the opportunity to work on my current project out in Dubai. It was only supposed to be a three month secondment, but after a few weeks I was asked if I’d consider staying out here permanently. I’ve been here for six months now. There’s a lot of investment here, and a welcoming expat community, so it’s a great experience to be able to live and work out here.
What do you enjoy most about working here?
The opportunity for progression, and being more than just a number! I’ve been given chances here that I didn’t expect to have by this stage in my career. Managers and decision makers here are good at knowing their teams and the skills they hold, which means that it’s a lot easier to develop your career and achieve your goals.
What interests you most about the job you do?
The projects are really demanding, but hugely fulfilling. There are times when you are expected to work long days and under high pressure, but the workload is exciting and the clients are high-level. The complexity and scale of the projects I have been involved with means that I feel a great deal of satisfaction when aspects of the projects are completed or implemented.
What has been the most inspirational project you’ve worked on in your time here?
I came over to Dubai to work on a project for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) – the foremost exploration and production company in the Sultanate of Oman. The company accounts for more than 70 per cent of the country's crude oil production and nearly all of its natural gas supply. As the project has progressed I have become increasingly involved, and am now responsible for directly liaising with the client and managing onsite subcontractors. It’s satisfying coming in at ground level and developing real ownership of my work. It was also quite an experience being on site in Oman for four consecutive weeks; travelling around the concession area, meeting the PDO workforce and visiting operational facilities.
What three words would you use to describe us?
Visionary, versatile, inclusive.
How has your career developed since working here?
My immediate team in the UK was small, which meant I got a lot of responsibility, and fast. You learn quickly when you’re thrown in the deep end! In the short time I’ve been with the company I’ve been involved with projects within the UK, Netherlands and the Middle East.
What do you value most about working here?
I couldn’t pick just one thing, but a combination of the people, the projects and the company’s reputation and culture.
How would you describe your colleagues?
They’re open-minded, committed, hugely knowledgeable of their respective technical discipline, and ethical in how they deal with their clients.