I’d sub-contracted for Arbtech for a couple of years prior to gaining full-time employment.
The process began with the ASSET course ran in 2018. I couldn’t help but be drawn to a company actively providing training for people wanting to get into ecology – particularly graduates – at a time when everyone was calling for years of experience and a degree when, quite frankly, it was incredibly hard to do both at once while working and generally having a life.
On top of that, I’d started to become insanely bored of my desk-based role working for a local authority reviewing ecological reports rather than doing them myself. I guess I was jealous of all these on-site ecologists in a way, as I sat there behind my desk making comments on their reports.
More than anything, I was drawn to the people. As I sub-contracted for Arbtech, I really got to know the people and the little community that is Arbtech.
So, from then onwards, I was hooked.
I really can’t thank this community enough, as they helped me by putting in a good word for me when I approached Rob about a job.
One word: freedom.
So many companies advertise flexible working and managing your own diary, but you’ll still be given jobs to do at a certain time; not with Arbtech.
My diary is my own, and I can organise it how I see fit and how works best for my life, enabling me to do my job while possibly meeting up with a friend for coffee on my lunch break if we happen to be in the same area.
As a true ecologist, I’m a bit of a nature nerd.
This coupled with the fact I can’t really sit still – making sense of why a full desk-based role was not my jam at all – means that you’ll usually find me on the fells or in the gym.
I’m currently walking the wainwrights with my partner and our dogs.
Hopefully, I’ll finish them all soon, and then I can start on the Munros in Scotland.
Never take criticism from those you wouldn’t go to for advice.
Go for it because, in the long run, a missed opportunity hurts more than rejection.
God, that’s a hard one!
All socials are fab!
It’s part of our culture, so we generally only do things that we all enjoy.
A personal favourite of mine has been going to music festivals. So far, we’ve been to the Isle of Wight and Latitude. Yeah, you heard that right – a festival as a works do!
These were great for getting to unwind and chill, watch live music, and enjoy live comedy. As these were slightly smaller socials, they were a great way to get to know others within the company.
I also massively enjoyed Austria.
Name another company that will pay for you to learn how to ski, snowboard and attend some wicked Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) classes. Now, BJJ isn’t massively my thing, but I loved getting to understand it better and see why others in the company love It so much.
I personally loved the snowboarding and may have discovered yet another expensive hobby – thanks for that, Rob!
I’d love to visit Alaska and Norway. Any chance of seeing the northern lights, and I’m there.
Inside the UK, I’m making it my mission to visit more of Scotland and the Hebrides, especially seeing as they’re pretty much on my doorstep in the Lake District.
I’d like to have cracked the work-life balance, as even now, I find the two blur together every now and then.
I’m not really sure where that puts me in five years.
Hopefully owning my own house, maybe with the beginnings of a family. But three dogs and two rabbits are more than enough for me right now.
Workwise, I’d really like to develop a more specialised knowledge of the conservation and ecology of riparian mammals like otters and water voles, and I’d like to get a few of my level 2 licences at the very least over the next couple of years.
Personally, I’m aiming to finish walking the wainwrights in the next 18 months, which will mean it will have taken me two years to complete them between working full-time and having a personality outside of hiking.
On top of that, I want to undertake the national three peaks challenge. I’m undecided if I’d like to do it solo or in a group yet.
I don’t tend to set myself too many goals, as I find that life always manages to get in the way. I’d I prefer to enjoy being in the moment and not always focusing on what’s around the corner.
Elen joined Arbtech in October 2020.
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.