We had a quick catch up with ECE alumna Laurent Burt, who completed her course part-time between 2013 and 2017. Here’s what Lauren had to say about her journey with us.
1. Where are you from, when did you do the ECE and what did you most enjoy about it?
I grew up in East Anglia, studying the North Norfolk coastline pretty much every year at school! I have been living and working in Southampton for the last 5 years, getting to know the South coast a bit better!
2. What have you been up to since; and what does a day in your working life involve?
I moved to Southampton for a 3 month placement at the Channel Coastal Observatory as a Coastal Process Scientist, which turned into a full time contract. I was then given a wonderful opportunity to study on the ECE course part time between 2013 and 2017 and I finally managed to graduate with distinction this year. The masters has been vital in allowing career progression into coastal engineering, and upon finishing the ECE course I joined New Forest District Council as a Graduate Coastal Engineer. The new role moves from a focus on coastal monitoring and data analysis towards involvement in coastal maintenance and capital programmes. The role involves management of flood risk and coastal erosion along the New Forest frontage, and the challenges that this presents. I use so much of the knowledge gained from the course in day to day tasks, and would struggle without it! The course encourages you to be a proactive, organised professional, and I have benefited immensely from this as my workload has increased in size, scope and complexity. Since starting in January I have been involved in various projects from planning to completion, and I am excited for upcoming opportunities in the pipeline!
3.Have you any advice to ECE students that have only just started the course, or recently graduated?
Organisation is key, the modules can be intense at times with various deadlines- but if you manage your time efficiently it is certainly achievable. Also, never be afraid to ask questions- everyone have something that they find difficult! On the other hand, if you have particular strengths, share those too! There are many conferences and lectures set up in the Coastal sector which help you to meet industry professionals and gain experience, and I would highly recommend attending. There are such a range of careers available in the Coastal sector, so remain open minded in the path that you would like to take, as new opportunities can appear.