Name: Claire Jennings
Job Role: Managing Director/Business Owner
Organisation: AquaGeo (Aqua GeoProjects Ltd)
History – Co-Founder and Owner of the WGP Group.
1. What inspired you to take up a career in the Geosciences?
I was born and raised in the industry, spending some of my school holidays as a young girl aboard a survey vessel whilst my Father was working on a seismic survey in Poole Harbour. I stepped into the geophysical industry following in my Fathers footsteps, he worked in a number of large oil and gas related organisations based in the UK before taking a decision to start his own business. I was soon to follow suit when there was a requirement for my services as a Financial and Project Manager in 1994 when the limited company was established.
2. Can you give more detail about your path to your current job role?
AquaGeo is a British geophysical acquisition and project management company with combined experience spanning over 35 years in the oil and gas sector. We offer a range of services specialising in shallow water acquisition and marine transition zone surveys and we have a vessel dedicated to projects working with 1.5 metre water depths. Following on from a recent refit, this vessel is currently based in the Caribbean seeking new opportunities. To complement seismic exploration we have recently entered the oceanographic research sector, and we now have an additional two vessels in our fleet that we are promoting for potential surveys during 2016. Our skill-sets also extend into project management of oil company assets to maximise extraction of existing oilfield reservoirs. We are concentrating our efforts in offering this service to oil companies as we have amassed experience in Permanent Reservoir Monitoring (PRM) gained over a decade.
3. What does your current job role involve?
My role as Managing Director is to lead my team “My desire is to build a prosperous business focusing on both the success of our clients and the health and happiness of our employees. “Our driving ethos is to help our clients derive maximum benefit from every project that they undertake;” Claire says, “and in so doing, build upon our reputation for reliability, flexibility and professionalism.” “Being an all-female management team does make us a little different within the industry, but that does not mean that we should be under-estimated. We compete strongly and robustly for every project and we always ensure that we deliver on the projects that we undertake.”
4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best aspect of this career choice is the respect I have gained through my client’s, colleagues and employees from serving over 20 years in the industry. I also have a business ethos of encouraging not stifling initiative in the workplace. I have seen so many companies fail through my career in the industry where the only way is the highway if you don’t follow management or board procedures. That is not to say procedures aren’t to be adhered to, I just like to see a happy workforce – with freedom of ideas and speech, and the ability to contribute to all aspects of the company. The good, the bad and the ugly!
5. Why do you think it’s important to encourage more girls into the Geosciences?
This industry for a woman is not for the fainthearted, you have to possess an ability to be able to take criticism on the chin! The female senior team in AquaGeo have vast experience, ranging from providing logistic support to surveys in countries like Azerbaijan and South America – through to qualifications such as marine mammal observers and ISO lead-auditors.
As women it is sometime just one big juggling act! You have to put that to one side, and I think with the right approach men in business see you as an equal once you can demonstrate both confidence and prove that you are knowledgeable and skilled in your area of expertise
6. If you could give a piece of advice to girls currently thinking about a career in the Geosciences, what would it be?
I am giving my heart and soul to the “Girls in Geoscience” event at Plymouth University to hopefully entice some of these young students into making career choices in the marine sector. After all, they are the future of the industry and women have a wide spectrum of strengths that can only contribute to an industry that I can proudly say isn’t just for boys!
Claire will be presenting a talk on “Geophysics and seismic acquisition” at our ‘Girls into Geoscience’ event on 4th July. Book your place today: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel (01752) 585975.
You can also follow our event on twitter @girlsingeosci