Scarlett M was at Langley between 2002 and 2010, journeying from Year 7 all the way to Upper Sixth, and finishing with A-Levels in Geography, Biology and 3D Art. She went on to Coventry University, studying BSc Physical Geography (Geology) and in this interview we find out what happened next for Scarlett.
Did you know which career you wanted to follow when you were at Langley?
My career choice changed throughout my seven years at Langley. I was a keen ballet dancer, singer and actress when I joined the school, so I always throughout I would end up in the performing world (how differently things turned out). Even through my GCSE’s and A-Levels I never had a career path set in stone, all I knew is that I thoroughly enjoyed Geography (Mrs Lambert was a fantastic teacher) and had a passion for travel, so the subject evolved for me. I knew that I didn’t want to spend my working career at a desk, so pursuing a degree in Geography (Geology) seemed a good direction to head in.
Which extra-curricular activities were you involved in at school?
I was always really into sports during my time at Langley, we were very fortunate to have some great onsite facilities and sporting opportunities. The main sporting areas I was involved with were hockey, cross country and athletics – representing both school and the county. A competitive approach underlined sports at Langley, which I personally thought was great.
I was also a lover of drama and music at school, which Langley again supported. I have so many great memories of participating in school plays and musicals, choir recitals and house music events.
Do you think these extra activities have been useful within your career and given you transferable skills?
I believe that the extra-curricular activities Langley offered gave me a great deal of confidence and self-belief, which I have carried forward with me into adult life. Sports often encouraged and required good teamwork / leadership and communication skills, which I believe I am now transferring into the running of my offshore team.
How did your career begin?
My career as an Offshore Geotechnical Engineer commenced after the completion of summer work experience at Fugro Alluvial as a soils lab technician. I actually have my mother to thank for this as she saw a job advertisement in the local paper for a ‘Geotechnical Engineer’ and suggested I get in touch with Fugro for some work experience prior to graduation. This was an incredibly opportunity and confirmed my career choice into offshore oil, gas and renewables site investigations.
This direct work experience set me above so many other graduates in the same position as me, so I cannot recommend work experience highly enough. Fresh out of university I applied for a graduate role at Gardline Geoscience, and this was a foot in the door for me into the competitive offshore industry.
Where are you now in your career and what have been the highlights?
I have been working for myself and as an offshore geotechnical contractor for six years now. I have continued to travel the world, drilling holes and testing soil in a variety of continents. I have naturally progressed from engineer to Lead engineer supervising an offshore team of geologists, to my most recent role as ‘Client Representative,’ in which I oversee the entire geotechnical campaign on behalf of the asset owner.
My career has taken me to so many different places, and gains me lots of experiences and highlights. Working in the Caribbean, off the coasts of St Croix and Trinidad and Tobago, was just beautiful and some of the most pristine blue waters I have ever seen. Another highlight would definitely have to be seeing the Northern Lights for the first time while we were drilling holes in Northern Norway.
On reflection, did your time at Langley School help inform your career choices and your attitude to your career progression?
My career choice came later in life during university, but Langley was the foundation that made university education and the position I am in today possible. Langley taught us all about hard work and striving for excellence, so this can-do attitude has most certainly aided my career progression.
Is there any advice you would like to give to students currently considering joining Langley, their A Levels and career choices?
Firstly, I would highly recommend Langley as a school to all prospective parents. Langley is an all-round school with something to offer and support, whatever the child’s interest. Langley is a great place to complete Sixth Form as the teachers truly care about your career progression and offer great support to get you through these challenging times.
My advice would be to pick topics for GCSE and A-Level that you truly enjoy, not the topics you think you should follow or have been told to do. You enjoy learning and working far more when you are interested and passionate about the topic, consequently achieving better grades.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Langley as a school is not only about education but it is also about friendships and making memories. I have made some lifelong friends who I still see most weekends when I am not offshore. I loved school and I am so fortunate to be able to say that these were some of the best years of my life.