“In July 2017, I was extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to undertake a placement year with RSK,” says Jonathan. “After completing an undergraduate degree in Geology and Physical Geography at Keele University, UK, I wanted to gain industry experience before beginning a master’s course in Environmental Geology and Contamination at the University of Portsmouth in September 2018. The placement with RSK has provided me with invaluable industry experience, which is so useful before diving into a career.
“After completing my undergraduate studies in the summer of 2017, the remainder of the year saw me predominantly based in Kampala, Uganda, assisting the recently set up RSK East Africa business with a petrol-filling station remediation project covering sites across the country,” Jonathan explains. “This job gave me my first experience of living outside of the UK, and I learned how projects are set up, gained more in-depth knowledge of contaminated land and remediation, and gained valuable experience in meeting and communicating with clients and contractors. On the occasional day off, I was able to explore parts of the city (mainly various sports bars!) and visit a national park to get the full experience of living in Uganda.
The driveway leading to the Ugandan staff home in Kampala (left) and a GAPCO filling station in Jinja (right)
“From January to July 2018, I then worked in Abu Dhabi as part of the RSK Environment team for the Middle East, which was a new and extremely enjoyable experience. I predominantly helped the team by researching and writing chapters for various environmental reports for multiple projects in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. I also helped to carry out and write environmental audits in temperatures that reached over 40°C in the Arabian spring and summer!
“As well as report writing, I organised orders of equipment in and out of the UK and Iraq, which really tested my organisational and time management skills, as the RSK Abu Dhabi team will testify! It has also been very enjoyable taking part in office activities, such as a charity walk, an Iftar during Ramadan and putting together the all-important office World Cup sweepstake (and drawing Panama). I had plenty of work to get on with, which gave me a great grounding and improved the various skills I needed in this job.
The RSK Abu Dhabi team Iftar meal during Ramadan (left) and the Darkness into Light charity 5-km walk for Pieta House (right)
“Everyone I have worked with has been so welcoming and has guided me through my year with RSK and helped me to settle into working in different countries and cultures,” concludes Jonathan. “This has been a great experience and I look forward to continuing with RSK after completing my master’s.”
If you are interested in joining RSK, please visit our website careers section for current job openings.