STEM Ambassador & Author

STEM Ambassador & Author

From Aberdeen to STEM Ambassador & Author - Leslie-Ann GeorgeLeslie-Ann George

MSc Oil & Gas Enterprise Management, 2016
From Aberdeen to STEM Ambassador & Author

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
I chose to study at Aberdeen because of the diverse community, the breathtaking tourist attractions close by and of course the amicable nature of its residents. During my time at Aberdeen, as the oil capital of Europe it housed people from all over the world so there were many opportunities to learn from people and collaborate to birth wonderful initiatives. I am still in touch with many people I met in Aberdeen so the friendships I forged have been long-lasting.

Why did you choose your particular course?
Following my first degree in Business Management and Law, I chose to study OGEM as it offered a combination of the courses I had studied, alongside engineering and oil and gas modules as I was focused on a career in these fields. I was also looking for a course that had an adequate balance of theory and industry exposure for a first-hand experience of how information from the course could be applied to live projects. Lastly, in reaching out to previous students I also understood that the course was taught in layman's terms alongside specific terminologies within the engineering and oil and gas industry so that gave me a reasonable idea on what to expect from the degree.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
I quite liked the excursions I engaged in at Aberdeen; there were so many occasions to explore such as taking a trip to Dunnottar Castle. However, I also appreciated the opportunities students were given to attend engineering and oil and gas conferences and expositions at subsidised rates. They were good additions to the learning environment and certainly improved my employability skills.

If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I joined the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Energy Institute and the African and Caribbean Society at the University of Aberdeen and I enjoyed the exposure to industry experts to be able to pick their brains on industry insights while staying commercially aware of changes in my environment. I also cherished the social aspects where I got to experience the different cultures of students and delicacies from different countries at various student fairs. These benefits are important for students when acclimatising to their new environment and fields of study and are not to be taken for granted.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
My advice would entail three points. First, start with the end in mind, have goals for the outcomes you want to achieve and start networking to create those opportunities. Secondly, collaborate with other students and professionals as the University has a broad talent pool and resources to help you learn different perspectives of how processes work in industry. Lastly, enjoy your time as a student; take the time to explore as it helps you to grow as an individual.

Did you undertake any co-curricular activities while at Aberdeen, e.g. Aberdeen Internships, Career Mentoring, STAR Award?
I was involved in the career mentoring scheme at Aberdeen. My mentor taught me so many vital lessons about building relationships and refining my ideas to give me tailored outcomes. Most importantly, she introduced me to two other mentors who had different approaches in the way they coached me to prepare for where I am today. I can boldly say they all played a significant role in motivating me to join the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) industry.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Graduate Project Manager at BAE Systems.

What did your first role involve?
Supporting mid to senior level managers with running the schedules, finances and quality of the delivery of engineering projects.

What is your current job title?
Project Management Professional and Consultant at Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

What is your current role?
Controlling account management in the engineering and technology sector, change management, strategising, business analysis and innovation through continuous improvement mechanisms on various projects.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
Upon graduating from the University of Aberdeen I began a career as a graduate project manager, where I supported mid-senior level management within the advanced defence technology sector to support the business management of engineering and technology projects in shipbuilding, maintenance and advanced training technology. I am now a project management professional running my own projects and undertaking responsibilities such as control account management, risk and opportunity management, agile project management and holding engineers accountable for their deliverables. I have also been a consultant in this sector while expanding my reach into the education sector to support students with academic and employability skills to prepare for the corporate world. Lastly, I am the author of Elevate Your Essay Writing Skills.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
My degree at Aberdeen boosted my confidence through the knowledge and industry exposure I was given to thrive in the workplace. Previous tutors also made themselves available to offer advice when I started my career as a young professional. I will forever cherish the friendships, industry insights and the quality of education of I was given to enrich my skillset in the work environment.

One Top Tip

Start with the end in mind. Have goals for the outcomes you want to achieve, make every effort to develop your competency skills in line with your career aspirations and network at every opportunity you get, whether online or in-person, as it open many doors for success.