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Siobhan McGeever

I first came to Franklin College to study A-levels, as my Catholic high school didn’t have a sixth form and I wanted to continue my education. I decided on Franklin due to the academic focus and its ethos of supportive self-development of its students whilst encouraging independence and responsibility. Most importantly I saw it as the perfect preparation for University. The subject material of the courses is pitched at the right level for the students and to some extent the work undertaken by students depends on the individual.

Franklin also gave me the chance to meet lots of new people and make like-minded friends from different schools. This was ideal for me, after being at a small secondary school. At school, I preferred STEM subjects over the arts, and Geography had always been one of my favourite subjects. I therefore knew my degree would most likely be a BSc and not a BA and focused my choices towards this (after having considered law and psychology at the open day and realising that these weren’t for me). I chose to study Physics, Maths, Biology and Geography (and General studies) at AS-Level. My love for geography led me to pick up Geology A-Level after first year. When it came to looking at Universities, I set my heart on the University of Leeds and the University of Manchester. I got my results and was accepted by my first choice to study Geology at the University of Leeds.

The best time of my life was my first year of University and I knew I had made the correct choice whilst at Franklin College. I graduated from the University of Leeds with a Master of Geology and Bachelor of Science with an Honours Class 2:1 Degree in 2012. The third year of my degree was studied at the University of Adelaide, Australia (the second best year of my life!). Whilst in Adelaide, I studied various Environmental and Geo-sciences modules and undertook fieldwork including a structural mapping project based in two areas of Central Australia; Mapping of regolith (drift) geology of Kangaroo Island; and several trips to IOCG (Iron Oxide Copper Gold) mines including Olympic Dam (BHP Billiton) and Prominent Hill (Oz Minerals).

Following the submission of my master’s thesis on the biogeochemistry of hydrothermal vent micro fauna at the Lost City white smokers in the mid-Atlantic, I was offered a PhD which followed on from my masters. I had a difficult choice to make as I had been applying like crazy throughout fourth year and had two job offers on the table. I felt another four years of studying a PhD wasn’t for me and I began my professional career as a Graduate Geo-Environmental Consultant at WSP (a global engineering consultancy) and moved to Manchester. In my first few years as a graduate consultant I was provided with a significant amount of training, excellent mentoring and was provided with the opportunity to work on a vast range of projects with a diverse set of Clients. My job was in an amazing office with an intelligent, supportive team and I couldn’t have had a better start to my career. I definitely made the right career choice!

My job entailed a combination of time in the office report writing and out of the office visiting sites, which range from wind farms to large construction sites. I took naturally to site works due to the significant amount of field trips undertaken as part of my geology degree and having always loved the outdoors. This led me to be the preferred engineer for joint geotechnical and contaminated land projects due to my geology knowledge. I have been given the opportunity to work on a range of projects working in consultancy, from mining projects in Wales and Armenia, to many residential and construction projects across the UK.

I have recently moved to London to further my career and experience in the capital for a few years. The move to a new city and office was made easy by the fact that my company is global and has offices in most major cities in the world. I don’t know where my career will take me next but I am so glad that I chose the career that I have.  Franklin College and my Geology tutor at Franklin played a major part in leading me to where I am today.

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