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Katie Garland

Current job title and area of responsibility?

I joined BP full time as a graduate in September 2016 as a subsea engineer.

I assist the engineering and construction teams, and am assigned work by both teams.

At the moment I am helping with the vessel readiness review. Before a construction vessel can join the project, there are a number of checks they have to do. I help to ensure that each vessel is ready to perform its work scope from a marine assurance, procedure, permit and HSSE perspective.

I also run the log of who is on each vessel at any time, so we always know who is offshore. This also includes people who plan to go offshore to ensure there are enough beds for everyone.

On the engineering side, I am assisting with the closure of some lessons learnt from a project we undertook with Christmas trees, which are an assembly of valves, indicators, and fittings used for the subsea gas well. Also, as technical issues occur offshore, I assist in their closure to minimise schedule and cost implications, whilst maintaining safe operations.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love that my job changes on a daily basis.

During an offshore campaign, I’ll wake up in the morning and check my phone for the vessel reports. You can usually tell at that point how busy you will be, and what’s going to come up.

But no day is the same, something will always come up. I really like to be busy and don’t say no to a challenge. In this role you are constantly challenged!

Tell us about a personal strength or a valuable plus which you have developed, as a result of your disability.

Being dyslexic, I have had to really develop my time management skills.

I know that things like reading or writing a report will take me a bit longer than other people, so I know I have to be really careful with my time. I can’t leave things to the last minute, because they will take me that bit longer, so I plan ahead and am good at visualising the path ahead.

As a result, my managers always comment on how organised I am.

BP was hugely supportive. As soon as I noted my disability in my application, I received a phone call from the recruitment team, and was assigned a dedicated point of contact who I could speak to at any point. They were able to reassure me that I would have the time and support I needed.

Most other companies just give you a generic email address, or you are passed between lots of different people, but having one person always on the end of the phone was great.

During the application process, I was given additional time for the online tests and assessment centre, which really helped. There’s a lot of reading in the testing process, which takes me a bit longer.

What advice would you give a student with a similar disability, who wants to pursue a career in the field you work in?

Don’t see your disability as a limitation, because it is what makes you individual. It makes you see and think about things differently, which can actually give you an advantage over others. I am more organised, because I have had to adapt due to my disability.

As long as you’re organised and efficient, you can help make others’ lives easier – people who will then in turn help you out.

See your disability as an advantage. You can’t change yourself, so you should embrace that and know you will be stronger in other areas.

Katie Garland's photo

Katie Garland

Subsea Engineer