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Our Team

George Collier-Smith

What made you choose Arbtech?

When I started out in ecology after I finished my master’s In 2021, I worked as a subcontractor for Arbtech along with a few other consultancies.

From my first survey, I was treated like I had been a part of the team for years. Everyone was kind, friendly and approachable.

Unlike what I had experienced with other consultancies, everyone on the Arbtech team acted like I was their equal, and there were no hints or tones of professional hierarchy.

The environment created on every survey by the full-time Arbtechers was the main reason that I kept signing up for more surveys.

Nicole – who was the first person I met – took the time and effort to train me up as a surveyor when I had little to no previous experience, and she even took me to shadow some of her daytime surveys when she learned that I was considering getting into ecological consultancy.

She constantly went out of her way to help me, even though she had only met me a few months ago. The willingness to go out of their way to help others is something I have come to realise is a quality everyone at Arbtech has.

Over the season, I kept hearing everyone talking about what a great place it was to work, so when I learned that they were looking for graduate ecologists, I jumped at the chance to apply and, thankfully, was successful.

What do you love most about the company?

Firstly, the autonomy and control over my own schedule.

In a job and company that doesn’t have set start and end times for the working day – especially during bat season – the flexibility that this brings allows me to be a productive member of the company while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

At Arbtech, we don’t have timesheets – just a monthly and annual billing target which depends on your salary and role. I personally find that my billing target acts as a healthy way to keep me motivated.

Secondly, it may sound cliché, but we really are a family.

Considering that we are spread out all over the country, the closeness and willingness of each and every one of the team – no matter their role or position in the company – to go out of their way to help one another, makes Arbtech a truly unique and rewarding place to work. The culture and environment at Arbtech are a true testament to our captain Rob and the type of qualities he values in a person.

Finally, Rob is the most generous person I have ever met.

The perks of working at Arbtech are second to none, and he brings us together as a group and motivates us to work even harder.

What do you do when you are not at Arbtech?

Outside of work, I like to keep myself as busy as possible.

Sport is a huge part of my life and has been since I was young.

I started rowing at university, and it is something that I have continued after graduating. Currently, I am a member of Broxbourne Rowing Club and my main goal for this season is to row at Henley Royal Regatta in the summer.

My friends and I also play football in a six-a-side league every week.

Music has been a big part of my life since I was in school. I have played the trumpet since I was eight years old and got my grade 8 when I was 16.

I have played in jazz and swing bands, concert bands, orchestras, and pit bands for musicals.

My grandad used to play me his old jazz and swing records when I was a child, which is where my love for music started!

What is your biggest tip to achieve the most in life?

Everyone is motivated by different things and works in different ways.

Find what makes you happy and give it your best – what’s the worst that can happen?

You don’t have to dedicate hours a day to something, but you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve by committing a little of your time a day to something you care about.

30 minutes a day adds up to a lot of time over a year!

What is the best social you’ve been on at Arbtech?

Austria 2023!

A week of skiing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the Austrian alps was the best way to start 2023.

It did not feel like a work trip – more like I was on holiday with a large group of friends.

Even though my phone is still somewhere on one of the mountains and I came home with more bumps and bruises than I can count, it was one of the best weeks I have ever had.

Not to mention it was all paid for! Just another example of Rob’s amazing generosity.

Additionally, we have an annual Christmas party every December in Chester. It’s always great to see everyone and enjoy dinner and drinks. This year, a number of us went out clubbing afterwards, which was great fun.

Where do you want to travel to next?

Thanks to our recent trip to Austria, I have caught the bug for snowboarding badly!

I am already planning my next boarding trip(s), and I would like to go and board in as many places as I can. The current shortlist includes – but is not limited to – Canada, Japan and France.

I am also massive foodie. Italy and Vietnam are two places that I would love to visit, not only because of their food, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t a major factor!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

It’s a good question.

Professionally speaking, I am still relatively new to the field of ecology.

I am currently working hard to develop my knowledge and understanding of the field, which will in turn allow me to be a better ecologist.

To be more specific, In five years time, I would like to have my class two licence for bats and great crested newts and also have Improved my botany skills.

Personally, I just want to be happy. I would like to have a healthy work-life balance and still be enjoying the work that I do.

What is a goal you have for the future, in or out of work?

I have many goals for the future, both professionally and personally.

I am pretty new to the ecology industry, so a lot of my goals include building my knowledge, enhancing my experience and developing my skills to progress as an ecologist.

In the future, I would love to be better at snowboarding and start learning some ground and freestyle skills. I also aspire to qualify and race at Henley Royal Regatta.

In addition to that, in the next few years, I would like to have moved out of my parents’ house.

George joined Arbtech in October 2021.

Job Title

Consultant Ecologist

Qualifications

  • MSCi Hons Wild Animal Biology, Royal Veterinary College

Professional Experience

  • Ecology

Specialist Areas

  • Biology

Hobbies

    Rowing, Football and Music

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