My career: Simon Quincey

15th September 2011


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IEMA

Simon Quincey explains how he has taken his childhood love of nature and forged a career as an environmentalist

Simon Quincey, Graduate geo-environment consultant, explains how he has taken his childhood love of nature and forged a career as an environmentalistWhy did you become an environment professional?

My interest in the environment started when I was at secondary school. I enjoyed geography and often watched programmes on nature and the environment, normally hosted by Michael Palin. When I finished my A levels I decided to pursue geography at degree level, which I hoped would lead me to a career in the outdoors and ultimately the environment profession.

What was your first environment job?

It was as a geo-environment technician, which consisted of monitoring ground gas and groundwater across the UK and then processing the results ready for use in desk studies.

How did you get your first environment role?

My first job was actually offered to me by a friend from the church I attended at the time.

How did you progress your environment career?

Each summer – between studying at the University of Plymouth – I returned to Bettridge Turner & Partners to gain further skills and training. After graduating I was offered a permanent position at Hyder Consulting, where I was introduced to the graduate scheme. I have since gained experience through a variety of projects including working at the Olympic Park site for London 2012.

What does your current role involve?

As a geo-environment consultant at Hyder I have a diverse role that includes a mixture of office-based and site work. Since starting in 2008, I have been involved in environmental monitoring at several sites in the southeast of the UK and have recently been given the challenge of a supervisory role as part of a site investigation and ongoing earthworks at an inert landfill site. In the office I help produce environmental and geo-technical monitoring reports and correspond with suppliers of materials for borehole and equipment maintenance.

How has your role changed over the past few years?

My role has developed considerably in recent years, providing numerous challenges. I have increased my knowledge and understanding of the environment and our place in it. I have gone from merely reporting data from sites to understanding and interpreting the information and being able to report clearly and concisely. Recently I have been given further responsibilities that have encouraged me to ask questions and, more importantly, find the answers out for myself.

What’s the best part of your work?

The best part of my work is being outdoors in the environment, despite the weather.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

The most difficult part of my job is interpreting the statistics and presenting data.

What was the last development/training course/event you attended?

I completed my personal track safety course earlier this year.

What did you bring back to your job?

The course allowed me to do work in the railway industry in preparation for future site works beside the track.

What are the most important skills for your role and why?

Thinking logically, and being adaptable and personable are really crucial in my job. Both on site and in the office it is essential to be able to think logically and prioritise in order to complete the job on time and to the required specification. If problems arise it is vital to be able to adapt and provide direction and the solution if possible. My role often requires me to be part of a team and being personable is very important in that work environment.

Where do you see the environment profession going?

I see the environment profession becoming increasingly prominent as demand for alternative resources and technology increases in a world where pressure on the environment continues to build.

Where would like to be in five years’ time?

I would like to have progressed further in my current line of work and have achieved chartered environmentalist status with IEMA.

What advice would you give to someone considering going into the environment profession?

I would advise any applicant to be completely honest in regard to their views on the environment and prepare for both the physical and mental challenges in the sector. If you are passionate about the environment and demonstrate this when applying to join the profession it increases your employability.

Career file:

Qualifications:
BSc (Hons) geography

2008 to now:

Graduate geo-environment consultant, Hyder Consulting

2006–2008:

Geo-environment technician, Bettridge Turner & Partners


Tell us about your career

The “My career” page aims to inspire other environment professionals by showing how an individual has progressed her/his career. If you have a career story you’d like to share with your IEMA colleagues, please contact [email protected]

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