I was previously working as a council ecologist and frequently came across Arbtech’s reports, which were always high quality and comprehensive. I wanted to change roles, saw Rob’s post about looking for an ecologist in Berkshire, and jumped at the opportunity.
The job description looked phenomenal, with a great starting salary, the promise of improving my ecology career with unlimited CPD, and a list of perks such as all-expenses-paid socials including a weeklong trip to Austria.
Additionally, the team at head office was an appealing factor, as it meant that there was a support network when needed and a whole team of people who were there to help.
I love being able to work from home and set up my own diary.
It means that I can work at my own pace and allows me to be flexible with my day. It also means that we can schedule our surveys for times that work best for us, as well as select the jobs that interest us the most and/or are closest.
It is such a great system, as it allows us the space to work when we achieve the highest output and keeps the clients happy, as they don’t have to wait for us to be at an office before getting in contact. Another bonus is that there is no dreaded morning commute through the rush hour traffic!
Not only that but using Slack – our internal messaging system – means that we are never truly alone, and whenever I have a query, I can ask all the ecologists working for Arbtech around the UK for advice, helping me to solve problems quickly and effectively.
Additionally, there is always someone around to chat with and ask for advice, which has been monumentally helpful for anyone starting as a graduate ecologist.
Having socials where all the employees of Arbtech can meet face-to-face is so much fun and allows us to really get to know each other, bridging the gap between us, as normally, we work and live hours from some of our colleagues. The socials have been a great experience overall, and for someone who is normally very shy when meeting new people, it has allowed me to flourish and come out of my shell with such like-minded people who are willing to help in an instant.
When I’m not working, I’m normally swimming.
I’ve been swimming for most of my life and used to swim competitively, sometimes training up to 10 times a week. Now, I just swim for fun after work and on the weekends. I have recently started playing netball again, prompting me to fall back in love with the sport; it has been exhilarating to start one of my favourite hobbies up again.
When I’m not swimming or playing netball, you’ll find me redecorating our new home, which is fun but exhausting work! We bought our first home back in April 2022 and have slowly been making it our own. It’s a slow process, as my partner and I have been doing all the work ourselves, but it helps that he is in the building industry.
Some weekends – which aren’t filled with painting and decorating – are spent finding new and exciting places to walk and see wildlife with my dog Gryphon. So far, we’ve been to most nature reserves around Reading.
I also volunteer with my local bat group, where I have been helping to put bat boxes up in local woodland and keep records on the species of bats found within the already established boxes.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
If I hadn’t kept trying to find a job in ecology which suited me, I wouldn’t have found Arbtech, and who knows where I would be today!
I’d also say to always have fun and do what you love. It doesn’t matter if you’re working or on holiday, if you don’t enjoy yourself, life will be boring and miserable.
I’d have to say the social to Austria in January 2023, where we did a week of skiing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
It was an amazing experience where I got to spend time with my colleagues whilst also learning two new hobbies, both of which are fun and very enjoyable.
It’s not something that I will be forgetting anytime soon.
The Christmas parties I’ve been to so far over the past two years have also been a lot of fun!
With an amazing three-course meal and drinks, it was lovely to spend time and catch up face-to-face with colleagues that I wouldn’t normally see much due to the distance between us.
I have been so lucky to be able to travel to many places, including Tanzania, where I have seen ‘the big five’. I have also travelled to India, where I got to see many, many rare and wonderful animals in the wild whilst in a national park. That said, straight afterwards, I was in a horrific car accident where I almost died. But on the plus side, I ticked off a bucket list item in seeing a tiger in the wild!
I have also travelled to Borneo, where I saw an actual wild orangutan, and it was the best day of my life.
With our 40-day holiday allowance, the possibilities are endless. I have a trip planned to Ireland in March with friends and then to Venice in December.
I have a whole bucket list of places, which seems to include most countries in the world. But I think at the top of that list is either Costa Rica to see turtle hatchlings or Canada/Alaska to see the Polar Bears.
I’d also love to go to Croatia to walk around all of its national parks and stunning waterfalls.
In five years’ time, I’d like to either be well on my way to becoming – or even a newly positioned – senior consultant at Arbtech. It will take hard work and perseverance, but I believe I can achieve this if I set my mind to it.
I would also like to have achieved my level two bat licence and be on my way to achieving other licences.
On a more personal note, I would love for our house to be finished, with a new kitchen and bathroom where I can host parties and have friends over.
I want to spend more time down by the sea on weekends away with my partner and Gryphon, where we can surf and just have fun.
I’d love to further develop my consultancy skills with Arbtech’s unlimited CPD and hopefully get my licences for dormice and great crested newts.
My ultimate ambition with my career is to help save endangered animals from extinction, but with the rate at which we are messing up this planet, who knows if I’ll ever be able to achieve that?
Outside of work, I would love to travel more, including to any and all countries in South America, where I can trek through the Amazon and kayak down the rivers in dug-out canoes.
Since working at Chester Zoo with the Humboldt penguins, I’ve wanted to visit their natural habitats off the coast of Peru.
It is a lifelong dream of mine to visit as many places as possible, which is why my bucket list of holiday destinations is so long.
Beth joined Arbtech in May 2021.
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.