Joanna Reynolds

Geophysicist, bp

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Don't be afraid of potential knock backs or a challenge. This is the stuff that makes you grow.

What do you do?

I work in a central technical team, supporting regions across the globe who are exploring for hydrocarbons to develop and reservoirs to inject carbon dioxide into (CCUS). More specifically, I analyse a variety of seismic datasets and undertake seismic modelling to help teams identify opportunities and understand the limitations associated with their data.

I am also a low carbon enthusiast and am involved in a variety of projects within bp to help reduce our carbon footprint. The projects aim to increase awareness of and engagement with our new low carbon agenda.

Why did you choose this field?

From a young age I've been interested in earth processes. At the age of 14 I was fortunate enough to go on a school trip to Iceland - a country where the power of our planet is so alive! Physical geography and physics were my two favourite subjects at school, and so my teachers recommended I look into geophysics university courses.

I went to UCL to study geophysics and was part of a fantastic class, some of which are still my closest friends. We went on field trips together which helped us to create a tight-knit friendship early on in our university experience.

Many geophysicists tend to apply to oil and gas companies, as they are a fantastic way to apply your fairly niche skills. I chose to apply to bp for an internship between my 3rd and 4th year at university. I specifically chose bp because I knew about their previous investments in renewable technologies (in the Beyond Petroleum era).

When I did my internship I was honestly blown away with how kind and generous EVERYONE was with their time. I worked with very talented individuals and world-class data. To put it simply, I felt at home.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Last year I was selected (by the current CEO) to speak to the board of bp to give them my perspective on how to attract and retain the next generation in the company. It was an incredible opportunity, which came off the back of winning the Oil & Gas UK Graduate of the Year Award.

I'm an introvert and find it hard to voice my opinions, especially to people I don't know. Younger me would have never believed that this could happen - and that I could pull it off!

Why do you love working in STEM?

There is always more to learn. I love finding a challenge and working with people to come up with a solution. Working in STEM often means you are surrounded by highly intelligent individuals. The more I learn about my subject and from others, the more my confidence grows, which helps for communicating and standing up for what you believe in.

Best advice for next generation?

Just go for it!! You can do it! And please don't be afraid of potential knock backs or a challenge. This is the stuff that makes you grow.

Also try to stay true to yourself in the scenarios you find yourself in. A role or university course might sound tough or overwhelming, but take it on and create your own path to achieve your goal.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Make a difference, everyday.”

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