Andrew Fournet, French National, Living and Working in Scotland

Bonjour, my name is Andrew! After 10 years of working in Scotland, I was offered a position in the Scottish space sector, a sector I had no idea existed, not only does it exist but Scotland is one of the leading countries in Europe in the space sector!

Andrew Fournet
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Working in Scotland

When I moved to Scotland, I started working in the hospitality sector and went from pouring pints in a pub to running the pub as deputy manager. After that I started working in the software industry, working for a company helping the oil and gas sector.

After about 10 years working there, I was offered a position in the Scottish space sector which I had no idea existed, not only does it exist but Scotland is one of the leading countries in Europe in the space sector, we have it all! From launch sites to world leading satellite making companies, we also have data analysis and very strong universities supporting the sector.

I work for an Earth Observation company based in Musselburgh, to the East of Edinburgh, I am lucky enough to have an iconic office located in a refurbished church. My role in the organisation is “Product development & Innovation”. I basically work to find new ideas for us to explore and work on to expand our product portfolio. I really enjoy my work as we are trying to address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while applying Earth observation, so we help the world while applying our knowledge of data acquired from space.

Everywhere I have worked while in Scotland I have always had people from other countries, from Portugal to Poland, along with other French nationals like me, we’ve always felt at home and happy to be here.

Living in Scotland

Scotland was supposed to be the first step of a grand tour taking me across the Atlantic and down under to Australia and New Zealand, however, I stayed in Edinburgh as this is where I met my wife, and there were also good work opportunities.

Scottish lifestyle is great. After you get the past the food cliché you realise that the natural produce here is just exceptional, from sea food to vegetables, meat and drinks, there is a lot to discover and to enjoy. I also enjoy the Scottish sense of humour, Scots are always great fun to interact with (when you get through the accent!).

Andrew Fournet on motorbike

I ride a motorcycle, there are many roads which are very well suited for motorcycle riding (just remember to always take your waterproofs along with you, it’s Scotland after all!). You don’t have to travel for hours to get to somewhere completely different from the city where you can end up surrounded by sheep on a single-track road. This allows you to constantly discover new places and new locally sourced food.

When you move to Scotland and you’ve decided to make it your home people in your community will adopt you as one of their own.

There is so much you can do in Scotland, if you like city life you can move to one of our seven cities. If you like the outdoors you can settle in the Highlands & Islands, basically whatever you like you are covered. Job wise, there is so much diversity of offering that you can really find any career, from IT to brewery from bars and restaurant to looking after others in the Scottish NHS.

Lockdown

I think the proximity of green spaces and the possibility to disconnect from work has been very important. The rise of community help and friendship. Since I have been here my local community has always been something you can rely on for knowledge and help. People are very open and happy to help, it’s like second nature.

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