Chrisha Calunod – BSc (Hons) Applied Geology graduate
  • ' Current employer: Sibelco
  • ] Current job title: Geological Assistant
  • ( Current location: Kingsteignton
  • & Year of graduation: 2017

How has your career been since graduation?

My main role as a Geological Assistant is core logging. I have spent five months core logging ball clay in Kingsteignton and will be moving onto china clay at the end of this year. 

I will also be given responsibility for the drilling rig in order to gain geological information on where to drill to make cross sections and block modelling of the quarry. Supervising the drill rig has been one of the many highlights I have had at the company. I have been able to see how the rig is operated and learned how cores are extracted from the ground.

During this time I have also done other roles to enhance my knowledge of different types of clays using quarry mapping and processing kaolin boreholes. I have also undertaken a yield improvement project in North Devon to support production. The most exciting thing I have done has been learning how borehole information is used to produce block models, analyse remaining reserves and resource of the mineral. This has given me an insight into how important core logging is as initial primary data. I also spent a week with the company’s surveyor where we flew a drone over the quarry to update images, which was later draped over typography data to create a 3D model.

I have been very fortunate to get a job that is relevant to my course two months after graduating. I wouldn’t change anything because having the industry experience is crucial in the career that I would like to pursue.

How did your time at the University of Plymouth help develop your career?

Studying at the University of Plymouth gave me a better insight into what the industry would be like and encouraged me to dream bigger. The course at the University of Plymouth was very ‘hands-on’ which I really enjoyed as that was what I was interested in. Practical activities like field trips to map and identify minerals under the microscope was one of the many areas I enjoyed whilst I was studying. 

The University prepared me for the challenges in my career. I was given lectures on interview tips, CV writing and facts about the industries. Furthermore, taking part in networking like FLUX has made me more comfortable in networking situations and boosted my confidence to go out more and meet new people.

<p>Chrisha Calunod FLUX team</p>
Chrisha and her FLUX team
<p>Chrisha Calunod in Sicily&nbsp;</p>
At a crater in Sicily
<p>Chrisha Calunod Geology Christmas Ball 2015</p>
The 2015 Geology Christmas Ball

One of my favourite memories is the beginning of second year when we went to Spain for a ten day fieldtrip to Ainsa and Benasque. The geology there was very interesting and I learned a lot. This trip also allowed me to become closer with my friendship group, who I am still in contact with today. I also received a bursary from the university during my third year which helped me pay for an unforgettable trip to Sicily to learn about the different lavas of Mount Etna.

If I were to start university again I would tell myself to balance my university work and social life. There is a huge difference between being able to see your friends whenever you want, opposed to only being able to see them when you’re free. I would have been more committed to my societies and go as often as I could. Furthermore, I would have wanted to take part in more activities, like networking, to boost my confidence and gain contacts.