We grabbed this from firstname.lastname@example.org, about out man Ian Sutton
We’ve been lucky enough to feature a wide variety of careers and different sectors in the Career Paths series and this time we have something very different for you. In this installment, we’re delighted to feature Ian Sutton, a Project Hydrogeologist who works in Water and Sanitation services and who’s work takes him all over the world.
Hello! Ian and girlfriend Tara head for Malawi tomorrow May 29, 2012, to volunteer with us on water and education related projects in Mzuzu.
Ian worked with us in 2007 while doing his thesis and now he’s turning to check up on us to see if we’re doing things correctly!!
Harisen and Charity will meet them at the airport and renew the friendships.
This is Ian.
Name: Ian Sutton
Marital Status: Single
Highest Education: MSc
Institutions attended: Trinity College Dublin, Cranfield University, UK.
Academic achievements: BSc hons, MSc
1) What is your current role?
I’m a project hydrogeologist in the water sector of a multinational company mostly working on consultancy jobs. The work is varied with new interesting projects coming in all the time. We do a lot of work on operational, environmental and water resource solutions for mining companies, government ministries/agencies and water utilities. Work gives me the opportunity to see a lot of interesting places throughout the UK, West Africa and South America.
2) How did you get into your current role/ industry?
I applied for my current job after having spent about 2 years studying for and working in the water and sanitation overseas development sector. I had been a mineral exploration geologist before that. Language skills were a big help in getting my current job, as well as having experience working overseas. I am currently getting technical hydro-experience in the private industry something that I hope to be able to apply to certain aspects of the overseas development sector in years to come.
3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry?
4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role?
From the most recent to the oldest:
• Managed a water supply project in northern Haiti, it involved rehabilitating an old water supply network about 18km long piping water from mountain springs to several villages, a collective of farmers and a large coastal town. In total about 10,000 beneficiaries. It was a real eye opener to overseas development work, although the work required a fair bit of technical problem solving, working and communicating with local communities was by far the most important aspect.
• Gold and coal exploration and drilling supervising geologist based in Mongolia for two years. It was great fun mapping in the wilderness, logging core, and interpreting geophysics among other things. It is a great place.
• Volunteered on the Suas programme providing teaching ideas to NGO schools in Calcutta. Wonderful experience and a great way to get into development type work. Being part of the programme definitely set the tone for wanting to continue along the lines of overseas development.
5) What was the worst job you ever had?
Night shift core logging at a drill rig in minus 20 degrees with no heater and a dodgy stomach. Only lasted two nights thankfully.
6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late?
I don’t think it is ever too late to get into a certain role or industry. I have changed industry three times; from mineral exploration, to overseas development, to technical hydro-consulting. It’s good to mix thing up and not to get stuck in one position.
It can be tough to change industries and can often mean taking a pay cut, but at the end of the day the more experience you have over a wide range of environments the more useful you will be either to your own company or someone else’s. Many skills can be applied over a range of industries.
7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry?
For hydrogeological consulting and hydrological consulting, and probably engineering in general, get a good technical base so that you are confident in your work. It’s good to start off working in a team where you can learn from your peers.
For overseas work a good way of getting experience is through volunteering initially. People you meet along the way can also lead to work further down the line. Hold onto contact numbers and email addresses.
8) What do you like most about your job?
The variety, meeting new people all over the world and having a balance between travelling to new places and having a base to come back to.
9) Anything you don’t like?
Work can take over your life sometimes, its really important to keep a balance and to relax, when you have a lot of client deadlines it can be hard to do this sometimes.
10) What time do you get up for work?
It varies a lot, when I’m working in the field anywhere from 5am to 7am. For an office day I’d usually get up at 8:00am.
11) Where would you like to retire to?
Ireland with sunshine, a reggae bar in Jamaica, or a Spanish villa! Anywhere with good food, good company and good weather!
12) Favourite website(s)?
Don’t have a favourite, probably BBC if I had to choose
13) What would be your dream job?
14) What are your goals or plans for the future?
Practise more guitar!
To continue to find work that I enjoy and that motivates me.
15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island?
(and maybe a luxury yacht)…. (or a trip to Malawi)