Faye Hyslop is the Environment Manager for SGN in Scotland and Northern Ireland. SGN is one of the UK's largest and most innovative gas distribution networks, operating across Scotland, the south of England and Northern Ireland.
Faye (pictured right) started her Open University studies when employed by the company as a receptionist, having initially joined SGN as a cleaner aged 19.
Faye, who lives in Glasgow, achieved a First Class Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Environmental Management and Technology. She received this at a graduation ceremony in October 2017. Faye is continuing her OU studies with a Master of Sciences degree in Environmental Management.
“My Environment Manager post is quite varied, from waste management issues to environmental compliance and award submissions, like for the Carbon Trust Standard.
“And I’m often with our staff on each site, doing environmental audits and inspections with them.
Studying every lunch break and evening for over seven years for my undergraduate qualification was hard but so worth it knowing I have no student debt and have a successful career to go with my well-earned degree.
“I enjoy getting out and seeing people and changing the way they do things so it’s more environmentally friendly. It’s not just about sitting behind a PC.
"Studying every lunch break and evening for over seven years for my undergraduate qualification was hard but so worth it knowing I have no student debt and have a successful career to go with my well-earned degree.
“I had felt bored and under-challenged and I was living at home with my parents when I decided to look at further study. I’d studied environmental science at college for A level, so I decided I wanted to take that further.
“I moved to Glasgow through work in 2011. It was quite seamless, the move from the south of England to Scotland, and with the OU stuff it was really easy.
“I combined my degree studies with working full time, among many other things – like background acting for TV and musical theatre shows.”
Faye’s undergraduate studies were funded by the Part-Time Fee Grant and her supportive company gave her time off to study for exams.
“If you’re prepared to study and stick with it, then the OU’s definitely the thing to do. As long as you manage your time then you can make it what you need it to be.
“Sometimes the work connection was actually helpful, I could look at a work document that related to course stuff, or there were people I could speak to.
“And I was able to apply the knowledge I was picking up from my studies to my day job, as I progressed. It’s got more and more useful I think as I’ve gone on.
“My favourite module was Renewable energy.
“My OU undergraduate degree studies were really enjoyable - hard work, but worth sticking with it because when you find out that you’re graduating with a first, it’s the best feeling. You just feel really proud. Everyone’s been really supportive.”
And Faye has not stopped there with her OU studies. As well as combining her full-time career with family life, she is working towards her postgraduate degree. Modules have included Project Management and Managing for Sustainability, and Faye is now writing her dissertation.
Keen to gain her Masters qualification, Faye is “hoping I achieve that and these years of hard work will be worth it. It will help me in any future career but also bring additional knowledge to my current role as we help develop a plan for our company to get to net zero by 2045”.