Lauren Adams

Lauren Adams

Field Specialist, Wireline Services
Baker Hughes, a GE company

The only member of her immediate family to go to university, Lauren Adams completed a chemistry degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Lauren joined oilfield services company Baker Hughes and completed specialist training in wireline engineering.

She has already taken opportunities to broaden her horizons: she undertook  her master’s degree research in Italy during her study years and spent time working on a land rig in Canada to gain her first practical experience with Baker Hughes,  before returning to the UK to work offshore. Lauren’s wanderlust has also been satisfied – since joining Baker Hughes she’s been able to work in Norway,  Denmark and Holland as well as attend training in Dubai and Houston. She’s now a senior wireline engineer with the company, which today is part of GE.

A member of the Women’s Network at the company, Lauren acts as a mentor to  young engineers following her into the oil & gas industry.

I didn’t precisely know what I wanted to do with my degree. I applied to a few companies in the oil & gas industry. I didn’t want a research or laboratory role  and was sure I wouldn’t be happy just sitting in an office.

“In my world I’m still learning; there’s always something new to take on board and different challenges appear all the time. It’s certainly not
boring!”

I knew people who worked in oil & gas through family and friends and most of my fellow students at university were planning to find a job in the industry.

When I joined Baker Hughes, I was told I’d have the chance to travel and that was important to me.

You have to put in the hours to succeed. Some people might complain about working late or the occasional weekend, but you have to be willing to put in an extra hour or so to be prepared.

“It’s important to ask questions and expand your knowledge”

In my world I’m still learning; there’s always something new to take on board and different challenges appear all the time. It’s certainly not boring!

The biggest everyday challenges come from time pressures. It can be a fast paced environment as customers often have urgent requirements, but you also have to be thorough and get your kit checks done to get a job ready in time.

I’ve never experienced any dress issues for women in the industry. I know some women wear makeup offshore, but personally it’s not something I’m bothered about. I’m typically wearing coveralls and some comfortable old clothes under them. It’s very different when I’m at home, when I love getting dressed up to go out, but offshore you just accept it’s your work. I enjoy the job so much that things like work wear don’t come into it for me.

You hear people say that offshore is not for you if you like a social life and keeping up with friends. I don’t agree with that. You make the most of it when you are together with family and friends, and of course you make a load of new  friends at work. Obviously it’s not fun to miss a birthday party or a wedding, but  you’re not going to be left out when you are onshore just because you missed a  special occasion because of work. And it’s very easy now to use social media to  keep up with people on a day-to-day basis.

Advice to your 15-year-old self? Broaden your range of study subjects. If you eventually aim to move from technical into management or sales roles, for example, you need different perspectives.
A moment of inspiration? My time spent in Canada was amazing. It was a camp environment in the middle of nowhere and I loved the experience. I never felt uncomfortable and took the opportunities to try new things like skiing.