Paige Colling, BSc (Hons) Geology
What are you doing now?
I work for AECOM who are a global consultancy working in sectors including infrastructure, transport, rail, environmental sectors, oil and gas and ground engineering, one of America’s largest companies. AECOM offer technical services for both the private the public sectors. In the UK AECOM have worked on high profile projects such as Cross Rail, London 2012 Olympics and Thames Tideway and work for clients such as Network Rail, Highways England and local councils.
My roles include undertaking desk studies, creating ground models, coal mining risk assessments, site walkover and planning and supervising ground investigations (GI). I have worked on a variety of projects on different types of geology around the country including tunnels inspections in Liverpool, desk studies in mine related areas with remedial solutions for sites and Earthwork Assessments for Network Rail to name a few.
What were the main reasons you took the course?
I chose to study geology because of the variety of career opportunities available and it gives you the balance of studying both in the labs and outdoors. I really enjoy the outdoors, environment and learning about natural processes and I knew it would set me in the right direction for a career in geology.
Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?
I chose Derby because on the open day the lecturers were incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The sheer quantity and quality of field trips to Scotland, Wales, Tenerife, Pyrenees, America as well as local field trips make Derby a great place to gain valuable field experience. While studying geology at Derby the balance of lectures, practicals and fieldwork ensures you learn the most from each module and gain skills for employment.
What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?
The course at Derby and the modules on offer really helped me throughout my career. The engineering geology module is crucial to a career in the geotechnical/ engineering geology industry and everything taught on that module helps in my day to day roles at AECOM. The practical skills, report writing and fieldwork along with the advice and guidance from the lecturers and the technicians helped me gain the confidence I needed working in the industry.
How did the lecturers inspire you?
Since day one the lecturers were so enthusiastic about their subject and teaching that you are more than a number. They offered invaluable advice both in lectures and when looking for careers in the industry. The positivity and motivation from the staff in the Geology department makes moving into your career seem a little less daunting.
How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?
The university gave me opportunities with CV workshops, interview techniques and report writing which all benefited me when applying for jobs and attending interviews. The university offers a wide range of societies, sports teams and volunteering opportunities which help when you write your CV and are applying for jobs.
What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue working towards chartership and to study an MSc in Engineering Geology/ Geotechnical Engineering.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
Do it! You won’t regret it! It is the best thing you can ever do, you will make friends for life, learn so much, visit some incredible places and you get more than just lectures.
Who are you still in touch with from the University of Derby?
I am still in regular contact with people from my course, lecturers and the technicians. I made friends for life at Derby.