Name: Carly Goodman-Smith
What discipline do you work in?
What is your role at the company?
I am an Associate - heading up the Cotswolds Ecology team. I am involved
both in a range of technical project work but also in managing the team
of ecologists in the Marsden office to ensure a productive, efficient and
positive team with the ultimate outcome being the delivery of excellent,
high quality work and the best outcome for our clients.
What position did you start at?
How long have you worked for TG?
7 and a half years
Have you always known this is what you wanted to do?
No! I left University with a Biology degree and a Masters in Behavioural Ecology and didn’t have any idea of where I should go with it! I knew I wanted to use my degree though and had always had an interest in ecology and wildlife in general. However I had received little guidance on the options available for a future career in ecology outside the world of academia. Through much research I stumbled upon ecology consultancy as a potential path so wrote to around 100 environmental companies across the UK asking to be considered for any graduate roles, recognising my lack of experience but determination to learn! From this I landed my first graduate ecologist job in a multi-disciplinary consultancy and the rest is history!
What education / courses / training have you undertaken to get where you are now?
My undergraduate degree was in Biology at the University of Sheffield, but I did a fourth year undergraduate Masters specialising in behavioural ecology. Once in employment, early in my career I did a University Certificate in Biological Recording (run by the University of Birmingham in partnership with the Field Studies Council), which helped enormously in giving me a grounding in basic botanical identification. I have since attended numerous training courses, conferences, workshops and seminars run by inter alia FSC, Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) as well as voluntary activities associated with my local mammal group and bat group.
What do you enjoy most about working for TG?
There is a culture and atmosphere of fun and positivity as well as hard work at TG which inspires you to excel in your own work and creates a feeling of loyalty to the company and your colleagues.
What advice would you give to people looking to have a career in ecology?
Join the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) as soon as possible - they have student and graduate memberships available and provide excellent training and advice for people looking to follow a career in ecology. Also work hard on your technical knowledge of British flora and fauna - while a grounding in ecological principles can be applied to a range of organisms and ecosystems if you have relevant British experience this will stand you in better stead. Also get out and volunteer for as many British conservation organisations as possible such as local recording groups and wildlife trusts but also remember that a career in consultancy needs you to be personable, an excellent communicator and have high standards of written work so focus on these attributes too.