Christie makes her mark
Name: Christie Milne
Job title: Marketing assistant
Works at: ITF
For most students, it can prove challenging to juggle classes with a part-time job, but not many play a part in the organisation of a major oil and gas event as their means of employment.
Christie Milne works as a marketing assistant with the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF). With a membership of international oil and gas operator and service companies, ITF drives oil and gas technology development and collaboration and believes investment is crucial to solving the most pressing challenges the industry faces in securing reserves.
Its annual Technology Showcase in Aberdeen is a fundamental part of the organisation’s collaborative approach to bring forward funding for research and development initiatives that address shared technology challenges in the oil and gas sector. Christie has been heavily involved in the success of the event over the past two years while also working towards a BA (Hons) in event management at Robert Gordon University.
“From the beginning of the year, the majority of my time at ITF has gone towards helping with the planning of Technology Showcase,” she said.
“This has included working on a number of different elements of the event, such as communicating with exhibitors and attendees as well as arranging details with the venue.”
This year’s showcase, which took place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, attracted a record crowd of more than 400 delegates, demonstrating that the oil and gas industry is taking technological innovation seriously in a time of low oil prices.
Christie said: “There are many challenges in organising an event as big as this, but it’s something I really enjoy and it makes it all worthwhile when you hear positive feedback from the speakers, exhibitors and visitors.
“We had great engagement from companies keen to raise awareness of their technology challenges and to find solutions. The showcase is continuing to grow. This year, we had companies exhibiting and presenting from the likes of Australia, the US and Italy as well as from across the UK.”
Christie is now in her third year at RGU and believes her experience with ITF is helping her with her studies.
“I constantly need to make time to keep up with my studies, but I feel very fortunate as I get to apply the concepts I learn at university in a practical setting,” she said.
“ITF is composed of a relatively small team so I can find myself helping out with different departments and it has given me a unique insight into how a business is run. The environment at ITF is fast-paced and every day is different and exciting, especially in the run-up to the showcase.
“I get to see every stage of the event management process, which has been a significant learning experience and will help massively as I move through my career.”
Christie started as an intern with ITF in 2014 and would encourage other students to apply to companies to get a foot in the door.
“Obviously, it’s quite a difficult time in Aberdeen with the downturn, so it’s important to get some experience in the field you want to work in,” Christie said.
“I found volunteering an excellent way to build relationships and I’ve always tried to keep in touch with the people I worked with. I started at ITF as an intern two years ago, which provided me with skills I never would have gained otherwise, and by keeping in contact I managed to secure the position of marketing assistant.”