William C.

Processing Geophysicist
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

William C.
Physics with Astrophysics
United Kingdom

My employment

Processing Geophysicist
United Kingdom
Environment and energy
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Processing Geophysicist in the United Kingdom

Trying something different led me to an interesting, long-term career.

How I looked for work

I looked for degree-related jobs on recruitment websites a week after I graduated and applied to any that sounded interesting. I also applied for temp jobs over the summer so I would have a bit of income until I found a more permanent job.

Fortunately, it only took a couple of months to find a good job and I started work in October. Recruitment websites are very useful for finding jobs because the recruitment agent will spruce up your CV for you and they can help find available positions.

How I found out about the job

Other graduate recruitment website

The recruitment process

I signed up to the Graduate Recruitment Bureau and applied for the job that I'm currently at. I emailed my CV to the GRB and they had some suggestions on how I could make my CV better. After making some improvements, we sent my application to the company and I got offered an interview soon afterwards.

The interview process was quite relaxed and there were no competency-based tests. They were more interested in my enthusiasm and how interested I was in working for their company. I got offered the job the next day.

My career goals when I graduated

I didn't have any specific goals when I graduated, so instead I looked for a career with the potential to delve into the science behind a topic and continue learning.

My career history

I've been in the same job since I graduated five years ago, despite the downturn of the oil and gas industry due to the falling price of oil, and I have survived several rounds of redundancies that saw about half of the workforce cut over two years.

The decrease in company size is not specific to my company either, all seismic imaging companies have suffered the same fate. In fact, my company has fared better than most.

What has helped my career to progress

Being enthusiastic about my role and being interested in the topic has helped the most to progress my career. This is because I've taken a genuine interest in the science behind the acquisition and processing of seismic images, resulting in further study of the topic and a better understanding of the underlying physics.

Gaining more in-depth knowledge means that I have been trusted to take on more responsibilities and the associated pay rises that accompany a step up the career ladder.

What surprised me about my career so far

Discovering the variety of methods that can be used to achieve a good result with the data.

My advice to students considering work

Even if you think you won't be offered a job because of your lack of experience, apply anyway. Some companies would rather have an enthusiastic new employee, who they can train up and keep for a while, than an experienced person who isn't interested in putting in the effort or will shortly leave for another company.

Also, any form of job experience is beneficial to a job application, so look for summer placements if you can. Even if it is a completely different type of job, there are always transferable skills that can be demonstrated.

My advice about working in my industry

Although the oil and gas industry has seen a downturn over the past two years due to the falling oil price, the industry is cyclic and is starting to pick back up. Lately, I've seen that more companies that are advertising new job positions so now might be a good time to join.

Other advice

Don't be afraid to try something new or different. You might be surprised what you discover that you actually like.

Contacting me

I am more than happy to answer any specific questions you have about the exploration side of the oil and gas industry, as well as offering advice about job applications and the process I went through to get my graduate job.

What I do

I work for an oil and gas company, which processes seismic scans with the aim of accurately imaging under the surface of the Earth and finding hydrocarbon reservoirs. At the start of a new project, we receive raw data acquired by seismic imaging boats (from all over the world, i.e. the North Sea, offshore Norway, the Mediterranean etc.). It is then my job to sort and clean the data from the various types of noise that contaminate the data. This can be especially tricky with some of the vintage data that we process.

Skills I use and how I developed them

I use a lot of problem-solving skills in my day-to-day job. I often come upon new and interesting challenges and have to find a way to solve them using the tools available, which definitely helps develop these problem-solving skills. I also do some basic programming, which I've learnt along the way, as well as improving presentation/communication skills when I have to present my work to clients and colleagues.

What I like most

I really like that this job gives me the opportunity to see underground, which other people don't normally get the chance to do. It's an insight into what makes up the Earth and it's amazing how complex the geology is and how it varies completely from one place to the next.

I also really like the problem-solving aspect because it keeps my mind sharp and makes the day more interesting.

What I like least

Sometimes there are very repetitive tasks to do that can be very mind-numbing. However, there are ways to combat this, such as listening to music or an audiobook while I work.

What surprised me most

The vast amount you can learn if you take an active interest in your career. Once you start scratching at the surface of how things work, you quickly see how much more can be learnt.

Next steps...

If you like the look of William’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send William a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask William to be your mentor.

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