When did you join Aberdeen Harbour, and what is your role within the project?
I joined Aberdeen Harbour in September 2018 as Communications Manager, and moved to the expansion project team as Community Relations Manager in December 2020.
What does your job involve?
Anyone who works as part of the site team will tell you that no week is the same – and I couldn’t agree more! I’m responsible for promoting the project to our ‘community’, which covers local residents and community groups, local and national politicians, local authorities, port users, customers, schools and universities, and the general public. Over the course of a week, I can be liaising with our film company to produce videos about the expansion, giving presentations or hosting visits from community groups and VIPs, planning our community action programme, liaising with news outlets, responding to questions or concerns from the local community and uploading our content to our social media sites and website. I was also recently involved in producing our latest Annual Review and virtual AGM, and will be part of the team organising the British Ports Conference in Aberdeen next year.
What is it like to be part of the AHEP team?
I’m fortunate enough to be back at the site office after nearly a year of working from home, and the AHEP team is a great team to be part of. There’s a lot of energy and an enormous amount of hard work (as well as cakes, football sweepstakes and Charlie the office dog!) I’ve learnt a lot from my colleagues here, and feel very privileged to be part of the team. The view from the office isn’t that bad, either!
What kind of work experience, training and qualifications do you have?
I studied History at Aberdeen University and Journalism at Robert Gordon University, as part of an internship with a PR consultancy in Aberdeen. I worked with them for a few years after the intern programme, before moving to Victoria, Australia. I returned to Scotland in 2017 and worked as the Communications Manager for an international engineering group, before joining the Harbour. I wasn’t sure where my History degree would take me when I first started university – I remember driving past the Harbour many, many, times and never thought I would be part of the business, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last few years.
What advice would you give to students or school pupils who may be considering their career options?
My advice would be ‘don’t write anything off!’ Be open to different opportunities and enjoy each experience as it comes; have ambition, but don’t spend your life chasing the ‘ultimate career goal’ as your career will have lots of unexpected twists and turns. Additionally, while I think it’s right to place a lot of emphasis on STEM subjects, as a history and journalism graduate, I would always encourage people to consider arts and humanities degrees or experiences, as they teach you many important skills and can open up a lot of avenues.
What is it like to live and work in Aberdeen?
I've lived in Aberdeen for more than 25 years, and personally, I love it! I still live in the city centre, and enjoy the fact that within a 20 minute walk, I can be out for dinner, walking around a park, shopping, at work or arriving at the train station to visit friends down south. There are plenty of opportunities for young professionals who are willing to get stuck in to work.
What does it mean to you personally to be a part of a project of this scale and importance?
The expansion has reached a really exciting stage: construction is ongoing, but the end is in sight, and the business is looking to its next chapter. This is the largest marine infrastructure project underway in the UK, and I’m really proud to be part of this team and working on a project that will stay here for decades to come, bringing new business to the region and prosperity for our stakeholders.