Philippa Anderson
Marketing Communications Manager

What was your dream career when you were younger?

I was never really sure what I wanted to be when I was younger. I think when you’re at school there’s pressure to know what you want to be and your friends have ideas but I think it’s ok to not know. I think the best thing I did was try out different industries so I shadowed a family friend in healthcare and realised that was definitely not for me – I’m quite squeamish. I spoke to family friends in legal firms, engineering, business, account etc to get a better idea of what I wanted to do. I was provided career books at school but speaking to people really made a difference.


What subjects did you study at school?

English, Maths, History (my favourite one), Physics and Spanish as Highers.


Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?

I’d say my mum and dad were and are my biggest inspirations. They were very supportive when I was growing up and let me lead my own life rather than pushing me down a certain career route – I was able to figure it out myself. They always said that I needed to do something I enjoyed, be respectful, kind and to make mistakes, but learn from them. They have given me space to decide what I want to do but were there when I needed guidance.


How have the subjects you studied at school helped you in your career?

I’ve thought about this question a lot and I’d say that it’s maybe not so much about the content I learnt but the other aspects. So studying 5 Highers taught me how to multitask and prioritise. They were all very different which showed me that I like variety and presentation was important throughout all of my studies which has carried on throughout my career.


Please briefly describe your STEM journey since leaving school.

I left school instead of doing a 6th year because my school didn’t offer the course I wanted to do- Business Management HNC. I then went to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen originally to do Management with Economics but after one year, where we got to try different subjects, I really liked the communications and marketing side. I then was offered a job at the university in Marketing and then being in Aberdeen, I entered into the Oil & Gas market which I loved. It was so exciting to learn about the technology and the processes. It’s such a forward thinking and energetic industry full of people that are willing to share and learn. Even although I went into Marketing, my career has developed in the engineering industry. I’m now marketing communication manager in a world leading manufacturer of air and gas handling equipment which might sound boring but my job is to tell you that we have compressors in NASA test chambers and we also had fans in the Titanic! This is why I love being a part of this industry but from a different angle. I think it’s important to know that you don’t need to be an engineer to be part of this world.


What skills do you utilise most in your career? 

I would say multi-tasking would be my number one and second would be people skills. No two days are the same and I love it. Multi-tasking is essential and being able to cope with different requests. We’re a global organisations we are very busy and we deal with different regions and cultures. Some of my colleagues don’t speak English as their first language so you need to be good at communication and working with people. You might not know how the compressor works at first but you need to be able to speak to the engineer that does and ask the right questions to do your job.


What advice would you give to any young people considering a STEM career? 

My advice would be that you don’t rule STEM out because you’re not interested in being an engineer or a scientist. There are other career paths that you can take where you can still be part of a STEM career, in a different way like accounting, legal or even marketing!