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International Women’s Day

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge”. At VTES we are proud to have women working across all divisions of our business and we will continue to call out gender bias and inequality.

Meet the team – Karen Thomson


Hi Karen, tell us a little bit about your career history.

Throughout my working career, I have always been based in Aberdeen, and have worked solely within the Oil and Gas industry. I began my career at Afos International as an Operations Assistant, where I was then promoted to Equipment Controller. Following this, I moved to Oiltools, where I joined as Material and Logistics Controller for West Africa and gained fantastic experience on an international scale. I then moved to MI Swaco, in the positions of Senior Export Coordinator for the Middle East and Procurement/Sourcing Specialist for Houston. That takes me up to now where I am currently Operations Manager at V-TES.

What does your day to day job look like?

Day to day, its overall management of operations, ensuring all functions are running smoothly and to a high standard. It also means that I oversee all projects from start to finish, ensuring that work is completed within time and to budget. I’m responsible for ensuring that everyone is adhering to workflow process, and I also support a number of functions across the business including HR, recruitment, accounts, training, office management and project management. It’s a varied but enjoyable role!

What are your future aspirations, personal or business?

I must admit that further education is of strong interest to me. I am very keen to achieve personal development through the completion of advanced supply chain qualifications. My current position with V-TES is the first managerial role I have had, so I am continuing to develop managerial skills in order of benefiting the team, business and clients. I would also love to learn more of the technical aspects related to Electrical Engineering, although I’m not sure I’m quite ready for the boiler suit!

What has kept you going through the lockdown?

Having a real purpose through working on multiple projects during the lockdown has kept me focused. Being home-based with children has been a challenge as it has for many others, however, continuing to work as normal helped me to create the new normal. It has been essential that we reminded clients that we are still here to support them during lockdown. We invested in the team by putting them through training, and that included myself. It was a real boost to morale across the team and allowed us to gain additional skills. Our Manager has been fantastic at motivating us each day, where he kept in touch with people on a business and personal basis. Ensuring mental wellness was key for V-TES and this has been bolstered by David’s positive, supportive and informative approach.

What is one of your key motivators?

A seriously large pinot grigio! Jokes aside, the team motivates me. Working closely with the entire V-TES team keeps me going, especially when we are working towards meeting deadlines. Of course, when we do and achieve the required results, the satisfied clients at the end is a huge motivator.

What do you enjoy about your job/V-TES?

It is a fast-paced position and company, where no day is the same. With a wide range of services, it means that problem solving then comes into play as enquiries differ depending on the client requirement. I really enjoy working with our fantastic team, working closely with clients and of course meeting deadlines. I also like to make sure that the client is satisfied and that the team are being as effective as possible. No matter how big or small the client is, or which industry, we strive to provide the highest level of service throughout, maintaining our exemplary reputation.

And lastly, what hobbies do you have?

I have recently taken up running again and in January I am delighted to say that I completed a challenge covering 50 miles. I also love to travel, and although it doesn’t look likely that we will be able to do so anytime soon, I would love to visit Italy. We have also just re-booked Dubai for later in the year if travel restrictions allow, and I cannot wait!

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