Profile: Frances Cullen (Manager of Australasia Regional oil and gas activity research team, IHS)

Frankie Cullen.JPGName: Frankie Cullen

Job Role: Manager of Australasia Regional oil and gas activity research team, Tetbury UK

Organisation: IHS

Education Background: BSc Geology from Cardiff University


1. What inspired you to take up a career in the Geosciences?

I always loved Geography at school, particularly physical geography, and I thought it was important to study something at university that I enjoyed. I applied for the Geology course at Cardiff and loved it. I wanted to continue work involving something I enjoyed reading around and researching, so looked for jobs involving my area of study.

2. Can you give more detail about your path to your current job role?

I was lucky enough to get work experience at IHS in the summer before I went to university. When I graduated I applied for jobs with the company and started out as an analyst and researcher. I have since built up my skill set “on the job”, taking on responsibility of presenting to clients and managing people, leading to my current position managing the team of researchers and analysts (mainly geologists!). I think it is important to take opportunities when they arise (even if they don’t necessarily directly lead into other roles/promotion) as it builds your skill set and opens other doors later down the line.

Keep doing what you enjoy too (so if research is your strong point, take on as much as you can, or if managing is your plan look for opportunities to demonstrate your abilities) as it is far easier and more pleasurable to work doing things you enjoy.

3. What does your current job role involve?

I manage a team of eight individuals, consisting of researchers, analysts and cartographers. As a team, we are responsible for sourcing, compiling and analysing all the data that we provide to clients on the upstream oil and gas activity in Australasia.

Day to day I contribute to the products that give our clients unmatched information and insight on the industry and manage the team that also fulfills this role. However I also get involved in client presentations, often travelling to other cities and continents, attending conferences and communicating with contacts around the world in various ways.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the people that I get to work with, both internally in my team, office and company, but also some of the characters that I have met in the industry since I started. The industry pulls in a wide range of people and I have met people that have travelled and lived all over the world.

I also very much enjoy presenting to people on my area of expertise. Though I know standing up in front of a group is not for everyone, I get a real buzz out of it and enjoy the conversations around maps/activity that we have afterwards.

5. Why do you think it’s important to encourage more girls into Geoscience?

I think the industry has in the past (and still is in many areas) very male dominated, and having more women involved offers a broader diversity – which I believe results in different ideas being brought in, a broader range of people to think through problems (and solve them) and is an important part of any company.

6. If you could give a piece of advice to girls currently thinking about a career in the Geosciences, what would it be?

If you enjoy it, do it. Don’t ever feel held back due to a lack of women in the industry or because you feel out of place. There will be experiences where you feel “outnumbered” but they’ll be so many more when you get to meet some of the great women in the industry as well as all the other people that share the same interests as you.


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