Name, age, where you live: Emily Taylor, 24, Aberdeen
What is your day job today? I am currently a Senior Business Analyst within Step Change in Safety. I look at the human influence on safety, training needs and standards for industry and most substantially helicopter safety. I also maintain the Twitter and Facebook pages for Step Change in Safety.
Why did you choose a career in the oil and gas industry? I studied Geography at the University of Edinburgh and went on to complete a MSc in Sustainable Urban Management at Heriot-Watt University so I have always had a keen interest in all-things energy.
The oil and gas industry is overflowing with opportunity (pardon the pun) and it was a natural choice for me – I wanted to be in the heart of the industry. I chose a career with a safety focus because in a major hazard industry, it’s a huge challenge and so important to get right. I know safety has a reputation of not being very cool which I would challenge – it is so rewarding.
Who or what has influenced you most in your career to date? I am lucky that I am able to speak to so many different people every day, and every day I am amazed at the passion people have for their jobs – particularly safety reps offshore. I was honoured to be asked to present at the 25th Anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster – Piper 25 – last June and was able to meet some survivors from the disaster in 1988.
Speaking to them about their experiences has been my biggest influence to date as it serves as a constant reminder of why the work Step Change in Safety does is so important.
Where do you see your career going? I hope I can continue to be involved with helicopter safety as it is probably industry’s biggest priority at the moment, and really important to the workforce. I want to be able to stay passionate about my job – whatever the next one is – and build a career around making a difference and enjoying what I do. I would love to work abroad for a period of time and hope to continue to be able to engage with people face to face.
What advice would you give to others looking to get into the oil and gas industry? The best advice I would give to people trying to get into the oil and gas industry would be to look outside comfort zones at jobs which wouldn’t necessarily have been considered. I never dreamt I would be in a safety role, but now I can’t imagine myself in any other.
If you weren’t doing the job you are in now, what might you be doing instead? The right answer would be something more closely related to my degree, but everyone who knows me will know that I’ve always wanted to be a singer or actress, so I like to think that is the alternative: or perhaps an astronaut.
Note: Step Change in Safety is the UK-based partnership with the remit to make the UK the safest Oil and Gas Exploration and Production province in the world. Step Change in Safety was founded in 1997 by the Oil and Gas industry trade associations; membership of Step Change now includes the UK Health and Safety Executive and the Trade Unions.