Name: Naomi Purchon
Occupation: Geoenvironmental engineer for Geotechnical & Environmental Associates (GEA)
Route to the job:
Following a geology degree I did an MSc in environmental biogeochemistry at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. My first job was as a geoenvironmental engineer with LBH Wembley based in Hertfordshire for 15 months, during which time I took the exam to become an associate member of the IEMA. I then took up my current position with GEA and moved back to Newcastle to cover the northern region.
Every project I am involved with is different and therefore no two days are ever the same, however the job can be roughly divided into time spent in the office and time spent on site supervising fieldwork. A typical day in the office might involve carrying out desk study research, organising forthcoming fieldwork and writing reports.
Highs and lows:
The best thing about the job is the variety - going to different places and meeting new people. I find it rewarding to be involved with a new, dynamic and expanding company, where I am given the opportunity to work on challenging projects. The downside of the job, if any, is that it necessitates a lot of travelling, which can often mean staying away from home.
In the short term I would like to attain chartered status and carry on expanding my range of skills and experience while keeping on top of new developments, particularly in contaminated land remediation. My long term ambition is to continue to enjoy work and I intend to achieve this by taking on new challenges to maintain enthusiasm.
Do a relevant MSc and try to start out working for a small company where you quickly gain experience of a variety of different projects and different aspects of the job.