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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Nathan Payne MSci Geophysics, 2011

Graduate, Summer placement student, Maersk Oil North Sea UK Limited

Nathan Payne's Photo

Hi, I'm Nathan Payne and I studied MSci Geophysics within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS) at the University of Southampton.

I was instantly impressed by the facilities available to me as a prospective student, from the highly reputable schools of physics and maths, where I would spend part of my first year, to the purpose built waterfront campus, home to Ocean and Earth Science.

One open day visit to the University of Southampton was the only persuasion I needed to take up a degree in Geophysics. On my open day I was drawn by the enthusiasm of the teaching staff and the promise of many field trips and job prospects while studying Geophysics at Southampton. Geophysics appealed most to me as it offered such a wide range of opportunities, allowing you to tailor the course to suit your own ambitions, from archaeological geophysics to oil and gas exploration. Studying geophysics is excellent preparation for an exciting and diverse career after graduation.

Following my arrival at Southampton, I spent the first year brushing up on maths and physics, as well as developing my skills in geology, both in and out of the field, a subject that was completely new to me. This year brings everyone together and up to speed, making many new friends along the way. From the second year onwards, you get down to the business of geophysics itself, using the first rate facilities and teaching staff available to you. As well as impressive teaching capabilities, Southampton has good links with industry and you’ll get the opportunity to meet prospective employers from year one. As I write this I am currently working for Maersk Oil as a summer student, drawing on all the skills I gained as a student at Southampton.

The highlight of my degree was taking part in the 2011 AAPG Imperial Barrel Awards with 4 of my course mates. This industry sponsored competition gives you the opportunity evaluate a real hydrocarbon region using the latest software and technology. As a team we presented our findings to a panel of experts in Prague, winning the European leg of the competition. Following our success in Europe we presented our findings again in Houston, Texas at the world finals, gaining 2nd place overall and $10,000 for the University, a proud moment for us all and a testament to the quality of teaching at the University of Southampton.

As a city, Southampton provides an excellent environment to spend your university years. As well as being a hub of student action, you are spoilt by and abundance of facilities including hundreds of shops, restaurants and activities.

Now a graduate, I am about to start my new job, working as a Geophysicist for GX Technology. Following four brilliant years at Southampton, I now look forward to a new and exciting career path.

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