Location: Belfast
Degree: Level 3 in Manufacturing Engineering
Start Date: 2014
"I think team work is essential because through team work you can learn new skills and two heads are better than one."
Lauren Gourley

A Q&A Session with Lauren

Can you briefly describe your career to date?

I started with learning all the basics of metal work and engineering, from using hand tools to using measuring equipment. Then I moved on to working small manual machines, such as lathes and milling machines. After several months I was competent enough to progress further. Alongside my practical training I have also completed theory qualifications in manufacturing engineering.

Can you describe a typical day for you?

My working hours are currently day shift which I love! I am still training on a CNC lathe and the time-served operator oversees what I am doing. Most days are similar, I set up the machine and tools then I run the required job. However, what changes is the work itself. I could be given any range of parts the customer may want made. The challenge is making sure the part is within the tight tolerances the drawings state.

What types of challenges do you face in your job?

Well, because I am female and 5ft 2in, my biggest challenge is my strength. I’m not weak, I just have to try extra hard. The job is quite physical sometimes. There are mechanical aids to help like cranes, but sometimes it’s a challenge to loosen things that have been tightened previously. If I need to, I ask for help. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Think back to when you first started, what surprised you the most?

I think what shocked me most was the lack of females on the workshop floor. I was quite anxious, but immediately I was treated the same as everyone else.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career at Schlumberger?

If you can get a job within Schlumberger, take it and make the most of it. They offer amazing benefits, it’s a brilliant company to work for with regards to being adequately trained. And if you want to progress up they are more than happy to help! It’s not a dead end job, there’s always progress to be made within this company, and lots of support available, if you put  100% effort into it.

Describe your role in three words.

Interesting, rewarding and testing

How is teamwork important in your job?

I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t ask for help from someone or vice versa. I think team work is essential because through team work you can learn new skills and two heads are better than one.

Why is diversity important in our company culture?

Diversity is good because it makes you value the differences in people, and appreciate the skills people from different backgrounds may have. I think age diversity is very important because it means younger workers like myself can learn from the time-served generation. Being able to put to good use the knowledge they’ve passed on to me is very rewarding.

What responsibility do you have as an Apprentice?

Currently I am coming to end of my ‘projects’ as such. We have to write up the jobs we do weekly and the methods we used to compete certain production work. Writing methods down and filling out log books not only enables us to gain our qualifications but I feel it is essential to remembering techniques we use daily.

I’ve never admitted this, but I was terrified that I wouldn’t live up to expectations. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to do as well as I had to. But the training we received was amazing and slowly but surely I realised I fitted in quite well and I that I really enjoyed this line of work—because I was good at it.

How do you manage juggling your course work and your day to day job?

From coming out of school to a full 40-hour a week job was challenging and quite frankly a shock to the system. There was just so much information to take in all at once, both practical and theory. The rewarding feeling in the end when you do well is worth the long nights. Here in Schlumberger they are more than happy to provide you with the time you need to fit all the practical and theory work in.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship at Schlumberger?

Yes, do it! These past two years have taught me things I will always appreciate. From learning about the industry to growing up as a person. Schlumberger is definitely a brilliant company to step into the world of engineering with!