Catherine Perry






Energy and Resources



By Catherine Perry

Get to know Catherine Perry, MBA 2019-20

Tell us about yourself: I’m a Geoscientist with a love for travel, nature and outdoor activities. I love hiking, camping, photography, wildlife, and astronomy. My ultimate goal in life is to retire to a log cabin where I can see the Aurora Borealis every night.

Sector/Industry you worked in pre-MBA: Oil & Gas, Mining

Sector/Industry you are hoping to work in post-MBA: Metals & Mining Equity Research

Country of residence before coming to Oxford: Canada

College: I chose St Hugh’s for its history in women’s suffrage, its quiet setting and large gardens, and because students can walk on the grass.

Instagram: @the.original.kate.perry

Q1. In one word, how would your best friend describe you, and how would you manager describe you?
Best friend: Adventurous
Manager: Reliable

Q2. Tell us about where you have come from and what has led you to Oxford, and more specifically, the Oxford MBA.

I grew up in the countryside of Herefordshire with a love of nature, science, and a fascination for Earth and its processes. With that in mind, I graduated with an Integrated Masters’ degree in ‘Geology with International Study’ and took my exchange year at the beautiful campus of UBC in Vancouver, Canada.

Before graduating, I landed a great position working for Fugro Survey. I worked offshore on seismic boats performing site investigations for major oil companies. During these offshore trips, I was often the only woman onboard with a 30+ crew, which was an interesting but occasionally uncomfortable experience. The best parts were exploring port towns across Europe during bad weather and being paid to cruise from Hammerfest to Bergen in Norway, a lot of it through the fjords!

After four years and successive promotions, I left Fugro as a Project Geophysicist to move to Canada. I started in the Mining industry with a Junior Geologist position specialising in exploration. Yet again, I was often the only woman on the team. The experiences I had in the industry were mostly positive. I feel lucky to have been part of teams that made new resource discoveries, seen the Aurora Borealis dancing at night and lynx hunting in the snow, and been paid to travel to the remote tundra, flying around in helicopters or racing around on skidoos. I stayed in Mining right up until my MBA, ultimately leaving as a Project Geologist.

All of my experiences to date have led me to the Oxford MBA. I wanted to attend a globally-recognised school and university with a diverse and accomplished cohort I could learn from. The underlying message of making an impact stuck with me and I knew right from the start that Oxford Saïd was the school for me. I have a clear career path in mind – one that will ultimately lead me back to the Mining industry – and an idea of changes I want to help implement within the industry. Many of these changes relate to being female in a male-dominated environment and reducing the challenges and obstacles that currently exist.

Q3. What have you done to prepare yourself for the MBA?
I finished my contract with my latest job as Project Geologist in May. Since then I’ve completed the Financial Modelling and Valuation Analyst course with the Corporate Finance Institute to get a head start on my intended career path. I’m still reaching out to people on LinkedIn, some of whom have taken the same leaps from pure Geology into Equity Research. I’ve also been working through the Careers modules provided on Canvas, as well as signing myself up for on-campus talks and presentations. I can’t even believe how full my diary is for the first few weeks of the course!

Q4. What do you hope to gain from completing your MBA?
Initially I want to be able to successfully make a change to a career in Metals & Mining Equity Research. I’m also hoping to learn new skills and further develop those I already have, expand my network, and finish the year with lots of new friends and happy memories.

Q5. What is the best advice you received before commencing your MBA?
I’ve received a lot of valuable advice but I think the best was to take part in as much as possible because this experience will never come again, but also to maintain my focus on my end goals. Oxford offers so many experiences, both through the course and from extra-curriculars, and the FOMO feeling is strong; it would be easy to get too distracted.

Q6. What part of the programme are you most looking forward to?
There’s a lot of things! I’m really enthusiastic about the chance to do an internship over the summer. The entrepreneurship and GOTO projects sound exciting. There’s also a lot of modules that are completely outside my realm of knowledge that I’m looking forward to. I’m also looking forward to Drinks with Dinosaurs during MBA Launch.

Q7. What do you think will be the most challenging part of the programme?
Managing my time wisely. There’s so much going on that I think it’s going to a year-long balancing act between things I need to do vs things I want to do. I think it would be easy to bite off more than I can chew.

Q8. How do you plan to take the learnings from the MBA to influence positive change?
In the long-term, my intention is to work directly for a mining company again and implement improvements as much as possible. There’s still a lot of work to do in Mining, especially to improve the working life of the people engaged in the industry. The Oxford MBA is going to further develop the skills and knowledge I’ll need for the challenges ahead.

Q9. Are there any sport teams, societies, or clubs you’re hoping to become a member of?
I definitely want to join the Powerlifting, Swimming, and Rifle clubs. I used to row at high school so I’m considering taking part in that again. There’s also a few OBNs I want to get involved with, such as Finance and Climate.

Q10. Lastly, what’s your favourite hashtag?

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