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How did you get to where you are now?

I studied geography at Loughborough University before going on to complete an MSc in Environmental Monitoring for Management.

After graduating I joined AECOM as an ecologist, which gave me a stepping stone into environmental consultancy. From there I got a job as a Junior Consultant at Temple Group and have been lucky enough to work my way up through the ranks, gaining increasing responsibility over time. During my time at Temple I have worked as a Consultant, Bid Manager, Senior Consultant and now work as a Principal Consultant. Alongside this I have gained introductory certifications in the APM Project Fundamentals Qualification and the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme.

What do you do as part of your role?

In a typical week work will include research, report writing, attendance at client meetings and line management responsibilities. I also assist with wider business resource planning and bidding work on a less frequent basis. I work with a wide range of people including environmental consultancy specialists e.g. ecology, noise, air quality in order to draw on their wider knowledge in my role. A lot of my work with others is coordination and management of specialists for information through a range of mediums.

What skills and characteristics do you need for this role, apart from geographical knowledge?

A lot of my day to day role is around managing others. This ranges from line management responsibilities to project management and coordination where I need to liaise with a wider variety of specialists. This all requires careful communication and leadership.

How does geography feature in your work/what difference does it make?

A lot of my work involves being familiar with maps – a key skill that I learnt undertaking geography during academia. But also report writing, data analysis and an appreciation and understanding of the outside world also feature.

What is the most interesting or enjoyable project you’ve worked on, and why?

HS2 for the sheer scale of the project and the amount of things there are to do and learn on it.

Do you get to travel for your role?

As a SME environmental consultancy, the large proportion of our work is based in the UK with an emphasis on London, so international travel is few and far between. Depending on the projects I am involved in, I will often travel for site visits to become familiar with the local area. A lot of the work I undertake is in London, so wider travel is fairly limited but I have been on projects involving visits further afield such as Manchester, Derby and Suffolk.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to go in to this career?

The key piece of advice I would give is to understand which companies do environmental consultancy. Pretty much any engineering company will have an environmental consultancy arm although this may not be immediately obvious, digging around on most websites will find some environmental capabilities. For general environmental consultancy, here is a broad list of companies to approach: Temple, Arup, Atkins, Arcadis, Mott McDonald, ERM, WSP, RSK, Jacobs.

* This interview was undertaken in 2019 and was correct at the time of publication. Please note that the featured individual may no longer be in role, but the profile has been kept for career pathway and informational purposes.


Job title:
Principal Consultant

Temple Group

London, UK