What is your current position?
Managing Director at Echoes Ecology Ltd.
What do you do in your current position?
I run an ecological consultancy and we carry out protected species surveys to assess the impact of proposed developments on habitats and species. We survey all over Scotland and for a variety of species such as bats, birds, otter, badger, reptiles and amphibians. My role is to manage the team of ecologists, run the business including the financial aspects, manage large and complex projects and undertake business development activities to facilitate exiting client relationships and bring in new business. I still get out into the field but not as much as in the earlier stages of my career.
What career path have you taken to reach your current position?
I studies BSc (Hons) Behavioural and Environmental Biology at St Andrews from 1999 to 2003. After graduating I worked as a zookeeper at Chester Zoo for a year, then moved into retail management. I returned to university to complete a MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at Napier University in Edinburgh between 2005-2006. In 2007 I started working at Echoes. The company had only formed in 2006 so I helped shape and grow the business as well as my own ecological career. In 2017 I bought into Echoes and am now majority shareholder and Managing Director.
Is there any advice that you would give to students thinking about their future career?
Network at events and conferences, and gain experience (paid or voluntary) in your chosen field. The ecology industry in particular is so competitive that you need to stand out from the crowd and if employers have already met you, or can see that you have been gaining skills which will prove useful, you are more likely to succeed.