Karen MacGregor, 2003 MES Alumna, Geoscientist in UAE

Posted on 17th Sep 2018 in Community Stories

I love my job.  These four words are very important to me.  My parents have always said to my siblings and I since we were little how important it is to love what you do.  It is definitely fair to say that the industry I work in is a so called "man's world" probably even more so with the fact that I work in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates but I absolutely love my job and even love the challenges that come with being a woman in a very male-dominated industry.  It seems strange to a lot of people but I realised very early on that I wanted to be a Geoscientist.  Sport and being outdoors have always been a big part of my life and I have always been very interested in science.  So the idea of doing a job that involved these two things was definitely my dream job.  I am a huge believer that if you want something even if it seems out of reach or is not the norm, you can reach it, you just have to put the hard work in and prove that you deserve to be there.

I feel extremely lucky to have already had so many incredible experiences and opportunities in my life but I can honestly say I worked very hard for them all; I have attended University in New Zealand, played hockey for my country and have travelled to a number of countries while working in the oil and gas industry.  I have worked in a number of what you would definitely describe as 'challenging' environments but to be honest I love the challenge and I am very grateful for all these experiences that have shaped me into the lady I am today.   To mention a few, I have mapped the desert in Arizona while dealing with rattle snakes and other interesting animals, I have worked in the Wadis in Oman, I have visited a number of rig sites and gas plants, I have visited data rooms in some of the poorest parts of the world like Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia where I have met the loveliest people that blew me away with how they were so content with their lives but had so little in terms of materialistic items and then on the other end of the spectrum I have flown to New York, Calgary, Houston and Dallas and then back to Dubai in one week for a work trip.

The oil and gas industry has always kept me on my toes but please do not think my personal life has suffered because I have wanted a career.  I am a huge believer in life is all about balance and I have been with my husband for 13.5 years, happily married for 4 of those and we are extremely lucky to have our gorgeous little girl, Mila, who is nearly 2 and means the absolute world to us.  I honestly believe I am a better mother to my daughter because I do a job that I love and have a great passion for.?

I can honestly say even with my crazy and very busy life I wouldn't want to be doing any other job than the one I am doing and living the life that I have.  So dream big, aim for happiness, anything is possible if you put the work in.

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