Engineer Joanna Stanko-Krakowiak studied in her native Poland before moving to Scotland to pursue her dream job in the oil and gas industry. She now lives with her husband and daughter in Aberdeen. Scotland has played a vital part in helping her achieve her career goals.
Why work in Scotland?
I always wanted to work for an oil and gas company but I didn’t have the opportunity in Poland, so after I graduated I worked as a consultant for a telecommunications company at home. In 2006 I visited a friend in Scotland and realised it was the perfect place to be for a career in the oil and gas industry.
I sent my CV to companies in Aberdeen - Aker Solutions came highly recommended. I got an interview with them and was offered a job. Poland is part of the EU so I didn’t need to organise a visa to work in Scotland.
I started as a contractor doing Quality Control inspection and after a year was offered a staff position as a Quality Engineer. Four years later I was promoted to a senior position and I’m now the Lead Quality Assurance Engineer.
In the midst of all my exciting career opportunities I also had a significant personal change and became a mum. I have a beautiful daughter who is now 18 months old.
So a lot of exciting things happening and the best of all worlds.
Working at Aker Solutions
Aker Solutions has a quality ISO 9001:2008 certification - so works to strict standards. It’s my job to ensure that the quality is met. As a Project Quality Manager I’m responsible for three departments: Quality Assurance Engineering, Mechanical Completion and Quality Surveillance.
At Aker Solutions I’ve had the perfect training to develop my career and progress to a lead role. In fact, everyone at Aker has an opportunity to develop and grow with the company. It’s a really encouraging and rewarding work environment. There’s lots of opportunity – the company employs around 28,000 people in more than 30 countries.
Aker also supports a health work-life balance. When I had my daughter I was able to work from home two days a week for the first year. And their flexible working has allowed me to change my work schedule to accommodate my needs.
Living in Scotland
Aberdeen is a fantastic city - I feel very much at home here. I miss my family in Poland but I think Scotland is the best place to be for me. My husband and I bought a house two years ago and we are very settled and happy here.
He’s also been able to develop his career – after only a year here he moved to a new role and is now works for a leading firm that supplies the paper industry.
We enjoy an active lifestyle – everything from cycling, bowling or even mini golf. And there are lots of lovely parks near by.
I’d definitely recommend moving to Scotland - in particular Aberdeen if you are looking to work in the oil and gas sector. The people are very friendly and there are a lot of opportunities here. If it’s what you want to do, then do it!