During university, I wanted to go into research, but after finishing my master’s degree in Wildlife Conservation and Evolution back in 2018, I decided research wasn’t the path for me. So, as all of my past experience was research-based, I decided to try and gain some practical experience in the ecology world.
I found Arbtech online and contacted them to get some shadowing experience. Julia emailed me back saying that Arbtech would be running a training course for ecological consultancy, so I decided to attend the course.
After the course I started out as a sub-contractor for Arbtech, carrying out Bat Emergence and Re-Entry Surveys (BERS). I did so much travelling that year to get as much experience as possible – I even went to all four UK countries in one week!
After a season working as a sub-contractor for Arbtech, Rob asked me to come into the office and offered me a full-time job with the company. I snapped up the opportunity straight away.
Having met a few people in the company – including Rob – and seeing how they operated and the culture they had created, I knew this was the only company I wanted to work for. And that’s not changed in my four years working here.
The best part about working at Arbtech for me is the team.
When I first joined the company with a limited experience in consultancy, the team were so welcoming and incredibly helpful.
Anyone in the company would help me out at the drop of a hat, and with that, I gained so much valuable experience from the Arbtech team.
I also love the flexibility of managing my own days and working from home.
This was a new experience for me coming into Arbtech and took a while to get used to. But now, I find it gives me the ability to work to my own rhythm. For instance, I discovered that I work far better in the mornings than I do in the afternoons, so I was able to plan my day around this schedule, which means I’m more productive.
During the summer months, I’m a regular camper and paddleboarder around North Wales and the Lake District.
Thanks to Rob, I took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu last year, and I intend to keep up with it this year.
I enjoy travelling a lot and have a few trips planned for this year including Italy. I recently spent a month in New Zealand, and it was awesome.
Last year, I took up learning Italian; it’s been a very slow process, but I’m still getting some practice in every day.
Other than that, I’m mostly in the pub with friends after a hard day grafting.
Since working for Arbtech, I have realised (mostly thanks to the wisdom of Rob) that a good morning routine is key to a productive day.
Getting up earlier than I need to and having a set routine including reading, doing some Italian practice, having a coffee, and practising yoga sets me up for a really good day.
Hands down, our trip to Austria!
About 30 of us recently spent five days in Austria at a BJJ training camp, where we got to spend the days hanging out and getting to know colleagues while doing some BJJ and skiing.
We also have a regular social to a music festival every year, which is always good fun!
We’ve been to Latitude and Isle of Wight festival in the past, and we’re off to Latitude again this year.
Canada is definitely next on my list.
I’ve heard from a few friends that have travelled there that it’s an amazing place to visit.
Other places on my bucket list are South America and Iceland.
Hopefully still working at Arbtech!
I honestly don’t see myself working anywhere else at this moment in time.
The job can be hard work, but I love my team, and I’ve got a great boss, awesome perks, and the benefits of working from home with flexible hours.
I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, and since leaving university, I’ve neglected this, so I’d like to get back to enhancing my knowledge properly.
I’d like to be fluent in a foreign language (most likely Italian) at some point.
I also have a fantasy of retiring to the Italian countryside and living out my days drinking red wine and eating pasta.
Mel joined Arbtech in January 2019.
Robert Oates, managing director says:
Mel (and Louise) were among the stand-out candidates on the 2018 ASSET programme. Mel is super-hard working, conscientious and a great team player. She goes the extra mile on anything she’s asked to do (including short-notice taskings in Ireland and Scotland!!) and still makes time to be a part of several bat conservation groups to rack up those precious experience hours in her own time. Although she’s been working here less than one year (hired in January, 2019), Mel already feels like a permanent feature at Arbtech. I’m both proud and lucky she decided to work with us.
Meet the other members of our leading ecology and arboriculture team.