Kerrie Craig is a Graduate Environmental Consultant with Royal HaskoningDHV. Previously, she completed a six month Graduate Placement with SNH researching the repowering of onshore windfarms. She tells us about her experience of SNH and how that has helped to shape her career.
I undertook a graduate placement with SNH in 2016/2017, based in Battleby as part of the Planning and Renewables team. I was very fortunate in the fact I had the chance to work on a variety of different projects during my placement. I led research on the repowering of onshore windfarms, gathering evidence on approaches to repowering in other countries. In particular, focusing on infrastructure re-use and removal, natural heritage issues, survey and assessment methods and spatial and consenting approaches. I also had the opportunity to supplement work for an external project with Scottish Government, Historic Environment Scotland, and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) reviewing the effectiveness of monitoring efforts identified through the Strategic Environmental Assessment process of Local Development Plans.
My placement certainly set me up for a career in the environmental sector and I really relished the opportunities SNH provided to develop my skills; particularly training courses which were invaluable to building up my knowledge base. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to work in a professional environment for a government agency gaining essential experience such as the planning and management of projects which certainly sets SNH graduates apart from others when looking for work in the future.
I now put the skills and experience I built up during my time at SNH into practice as I am an environmental consultant with Royal HaskoningDHV, an engineering and project management company based in their Edinburgh office. I provide consenting advice and support for large scale infrastructure projects predominantly within the renewable energy sector. I work within an integrated specialist team supporting the management and drafting of Scoping Reports, Preliminary Environmental Information Reports, Environmental Statements and Development Consent Order applications for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, primarily offshore windfarms in the UK.
Whilst working at SNH I relished the opportunity to network with my fellow graduates through joint projects or site visits. Royal HaskoningDHV also has a very similar approach to developing the skillsets of young employees and our Graduate LAUNCH programme provides training on core technical and professional skills needed to support you through the first years of your career. The LAUNCH programme also proves to be a great support network for colleagues across the business with different backgrounds and professional experience so we can learn from each other. In addition, I am a member of the UK YOUNG RHDHV Committee, which serves as a voice for all new and young staff in the company. We facilitate opportunities to network, visit sites, learn from senior colleagues, and be involved in developing innovative solutions to problems our clients face, helping enhance society together.
With 2018 being Year of the Young People I can reflect on the opportunities provided to me through SNH’s graduate placement, and I am very grateful that I now work for a company which also provides support for young people and drives towards a sustainable future. I am passionate about working in the environmental sector and hope that this support for young people to progress their careers in this sector continues. Barack Obama famously said of young people that “they are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it”. Therefore, I think it is very fitting that SNH provides fantastic opportunities for young people to work in organisation at the heart of this commitment, and support “all of nature for all of Scotland” with young people at the forefront.