Rachael Sims

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Construction
Job title: Graduate Geologist
Subject of study: Mining Geology
Year of graduation: 2022
Type/Level of study: Postgraduate Taught

Current Employer/Organisation Name


What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Since leaving Exeter I got a job on the Tarmac graduate scheme as a Graduate Geologist. I am now coming to the end of my scheme now and will be transitioning into my end role soon within the geology team.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I really enjoy getting a vast exposure to all aspects of the mining lifecycle at some of our 100 quarries in the UK. In the same week I could be out on site helping with exploration drilling for a potential extension 10 years into the future, then looking at quarry designs and how we manage issues sustainably and safely whilst creating value. The quarrying geology industry is very hands on and small, so there are lots of opportunities to get stuck into new projects and themes. When I’m not out doing geology, I’m working on a huge range of projects such as data management strategy, getting involved with the employee communities, or attending Tarmac’s Core Skills Development Programme which teaches me everything from business financials to conflict resolution and effective communication.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

Yes I played hockey for CSM! As a Masters student I didn’t have much time for anything else but there are so many exciting societies on offer.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I most enjoyed getting to learn from such well respected and knowledgeable lecturers, their passion and enthusiasm was a bit infectious. The biggest highlight was getting to go on field trips and have hands on experience in the labs and throughout our summer projects.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Cornwall is such a wonderful place to study, especially mining geology at CSM where you have so much important heritage all around you to take inspiration from.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

CSM was the only place that offered the course and had a great international reputation.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Geological modelling and viewer softwares and understanding the basics of complex topics such as resource estimation and reporting. Technical report writing has also been a very useful skill to have developed further.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Try to get some work experience before you graduate (even if it is a few days) and say yes to any opportunity to network! The UK quarrying industry is very small and so entry level opportunities can be tricky to find, but reach out to people on linkedin as most people are very happy to help.

What are your plans for the future?

Unsure exactly, I’d love to work abroad one day and experience different cultures and places. I’d also love to have my own team eventually as I really enjoy helping people develop and achieving great things together.


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