Hannah Mary Goodlad

After graduating from the School...

I grew up on the remote Scottish island of Shetland, surrounded by nature. After school I’d put on my Dad’s jacket and head off to the beach to play in the rockpools, collect stones and look at the wildlife. 

My fascination with the world around me followed me to school, where I was good at science and geography. Thanks to my grades I was encouraged to go to university and ended up studying Chemistry at the University of Glasgow.

I was focused on Chemistry (which I had the knack of), alongside Psychology and Geology (where I lacked the knack!). However, in the second year we took a field trip to the Isle of Arran and it brought back my original passion for planet Earth. I realised that I didn’t want to spend my days in a lab and so I changed my focus from Chemistry to Geology. I put in the hours and graduated with a first-class honours degree, top of my school - and I’ve never looked back.

After my time at Glasgow I applied for an MSc in Petroleum Geology at Imperial College London and was awarded a scholarship.

I have always been passionate about our planet and securing its sustainable future. I believe that the place I can make the greatest difference to the green agenda is not by protesting from the outside, but by influencing from the inside. I know that if I’m closer to the problem, I’m also closer to the solution.

Because of this, I wanted to join a company that was doing things differently. Equinor (formerly Statoil) was a company that really intrigued me as I was inspired by their values: Caring, Collaborative, Open, Courageous. I decided that if I was going to work for an energy company, they were the only one I would consider.

I started out working for Equinor in Oslo, and then moved to Aberdeen. I soon realised that my education from Glasgow really had been training me for the tasks I’d need to do out in the working world of energy.I had always had ambitions to be part of new energy solutions within Equinor. So, when the opportunity came to try something new, I took on an Asset Management role in our team operating our offshore portfolio of wind farms. My change of role took me down to London and away from Geology. I now spend my time as an operational asset manager and developing new offshore wind projects globally. Reflecting on the speed at which my own career has transitioned, I think that's a strong example of how quickly the industry, and our society, is changing. It’s exciting to find myself in a broad energy company, working alongside a dedicated team of people looking at renewable energy options. They’re passionate and come to work full of hope and enthusiasm. That kind of atmosphere is infectious!

My ambition now is to play whatever part I can in helping us to move towards a more sustainable energy solution for our planet. The world demands more energy, but less carbon – what an exciting dilemma to solve!

What did you value about the degree?

The Geology degree at Glasgow is hands on. Field classes make up a substantial proportion of the time spent learning, and rightly so. Much of the classroom-based learning is put into practice in the field which gives invaluable grounding.

A Geology degree at Glasgow gives you the opportunity to tailor and specialise your degree to include additional areas of interest from a wide range of impactful subjects, many of which are focused on the applied aspects of the discipline - such as engineering geology, hydrogeology, environmental geochemistry and resources.

The degree at Glasgow also gave me a robust overview of the petroleum industry that provided the springboard for my career progression. It’s my strong technical base that allows me now to sit at management meetings and speak with knowledge and experience, which in turn, gains respect.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Recognise your transferable skills. Although I now work in the commercial part of the company, I constantly used the skills that my degree taught me, such as handling risk and deal with uncertainty.

In a sector that historically been dominated by men, there are now more opportunities than ever for women to accelerate their careers. Say yes! Don’t be shy, grab any learning opportunity that comes your way and surround yourself with a network of strong, supportive women that will work to empower and build one another up.