Maths, Physics and Rocks: Career Pillars for Rachel Masters (Page 1 of 6) Brian Wickins, 7 Nov 2014

/pnruploads/1775/CIMG2632.pdfIt was Rachel Masters' birthday in October and what better way for her to celebrate than with an exciting new position with one of the leading, dynamic multi client seismic data companies in the Asia-Pacific region?

Following on from a 15 +year career which commenced with Grant Geophysical, then TGS Nopec and 12 years with Fugro Multi Client/CGG, where she ended up as VP Australia & Asia for CGG’s MCNV group, on 1 October Rachel took up the position of Global Sales Manager, for Searcher Seismic. The position will see Rachel looking after all of the sales and licensing for the company's data library on a global basis, including Norway, Asia Pacific and the expansion into other areas.

Bangladesh in 1998. (Click here to view enlargement)

Rachel knew that gesocience and the petroleum sector was where she was headed from the age of 14. The defining moment for the then 14 year old came about when chosen as one of two top Year-9 girls to be taken on a tour of Curtin University. During the day they were shown around all of the University's science and engineering faculties, and she recalls it was a really long day - with the very last department being geophysics.

Suddenly, the bright lights turned on and the weariness of the long day evaporated. Here was a career opportunity that ticked all of the boxes for Rachel

“It was a small department where everyone was dressed casually in jeans and sneakers. The explanation of their lives really hit all the right buttons for me: 'We wear what we want, we travel the world, we make lots of money and it's all about maths, physics and rocks – we love rocks'.”

“It was me”, she said, still clearly excited at the memory. “That's what I wanted to do.”

On leaving high school Rachel acquired her Geophysics degree at Curtin and commenced a career that enabled her to follow the three loves (academically) of her life – maths, physics and rocks.

There have been many people who have identified Rachel's love of geoscience and, as mentors, helped her to grow, including Peter Baillie, Jan Ostby, Ken Lake and Paul Van Riel.

Rachel said the opportunities that have enabled her to succeed in the sector are still there for young geoscientists starting out on their career paths today.

“I think it is about personal relationships and open, honest and ethical business – doing the right thing by people. I also think it is about the support of your family, allowing you to follow the career path that you want.”

Although today there isn't the gender separation when considering a career in geoscience, or management, there are still more men that make it a career path than women.

“Often, looking from the outside in, the industry is seen as male dominated, but I've never thought of it in that way. And there are many women who have been extremely successful in the industry, including Eve Howell, Cath Norman and Jenny Bauer.

“I've always admired and looked up to those women, and for me the driver is enjoying what I do. When I moved over into a management role at Fugro, I did my graduate diploma in business administration to broaden my base. I found that I really enjoyed the (managing director) role and still got to exercise some technical input.

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