Meet Mark !

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Forrige veke hadde vi gleda av å ønske vår nye kollega og Framtidsfylket-trainee Mark Purkis velkommen! Han er tilsatt for å jobbe med hydrogensatsinga vår Ocean Hyway Cluster. I teksten under kan du bli betre kjent med Mark og høyre kvifor han valde å ta turen til Norge og vestlandet.

(Ps, han snakkar ganske godt norsk allereie, men vi lot han ta denne på morsmålet;)

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Hi! I’m Mark Purkis, a 24yr old from the UK that has just started as a Trainee with Hub for Ocean in Florø.

Why Norway, and why Florø? Let’s start from the beginning…

I grew up in Bidborough, Kent, with my older brother - Richard, mum - Rowan, and dad - Jerry. Kent is the “Garden of England” with rolling hills, fields, small woodlands, fruit, berry, and hops farms. Quite idyllic really… why would you want to leave?!

We started orienteering as a family when I was 10, going to local races in South East England within a couple of years, and then travelling all over the UK and going on orienteering holidays in Europe. My brother and I were (and still are) very competitive, so it’s fun to race against him.

In 2013 I began studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. (Besides a deep love of the sound of bagpipes… or not!!) Edinburgh was an easy choice for me with its strong reputation, beautiful city, proximity to mountains, and excellent university orienteering club. I met my girlfriend Charlotte through the orienteering club.

Training with the other students in Edinburgh, I achieved some personal orienteering goals, being selected for Great Britain orienteering on 3 occasions, racing in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Latvia.

I have been keen to live in Scandinavia since 2012. The spectacular wilderness, lifestyle, and orienteering opportunities are a big draw to me. In 2016, I got this opportunity, spending my 6 - month Master’s placement in Halden. Working in Norske Skog Saugbrugs I investigated opportunities for biogas production from their wastewater, this was fascinating and opened my eyes to renewable energy as a career path. I trained a lot with the orienteering club, put in a determined effort to learn Norwegian, developed a liking for black coffee and brunøst, and began my “Blipfoto” photo blog.

After graduating in July 2017, I couldn’t face a professional job just yet… so I went (literally) to the other side of the world – Tasmania, Aus. Charlotte and I volunteered 20hrs a week as orienteering coaches for the local Hobart club, organising races, and teaching in primary schools. A highlight (and low point) was an 8-day expedition over Christmas in the Arthur Ranges (SW Tasmania). I lost 2kg during this trip because I didn’t check how much food Charlotte had packed beforehand – what an excellent Christmas gift!

Last summer, Charlotte and I decided we’d like to move to Norway permanently. In August 2018 she moved to Oslo, working as an Au-Pair, learning Norwegian and training for the World Orienteering Championships (Sarpsborg, August 2019). She is hoping to study physiotherapy in Bergen starting this September.

In January, I decided the best chance of finding a relevant job was to move to Norway immediately, helping me to fast improve my Norwegian and (hopefully) demonstrate my motivation. Volunteering Jan-April on a small farm near Oslo was great fun, refurbishing the house, feeding the goats and chickens and learning to XC ski.

I attended the Framtidsfylket karrieremesser in Oslo, it was through this that I found that Hub for Ocean needed a Trainee “Renewable energy and Hydrogen Value Chain”.

When I mentioned that I’d applied for this role, without fail, everybody (after first googling where Florø is) gave one of the following responses: Florø is so far away/remote/the end of the world/continuous storms the entire time/the west coast dialect is awful. So I visited for three days in March to decide for myself.

·       Far away/remote: well, yes and no. 10 hour bus journey to Oslo or 4-5 hrs to Bergen is undeniably not “next door”. But with daily flights from a ridiculously local airport, it’s not all that remote at all. Also, with my hobbies needing mountains, forests, and outdoor wilderness, Sogn and Fjordane has it all!

·       Continuous storms: So far, the weather has been much like the UK. I’ll have to wait until autumn to find out if it’s really as bad as they say!

·       West coast dialect: The rate that my Norwegian is improving I’ll probably acquire an “awful” west coast accent soon enough too!

As I see it, I’ve been offered a fantastic opportunity to start a career in an area that really interest me, lay a strong foundation for life in Norway – integrating with the local community and improving my Norwegian, and serve as a perfect base for my hobbies.

If not in the office, you’ll probably find me running up a hill or mountain, cycling around a mountain, searching for orange and white flags in the forest, camping, swimming or anything else that isn’t indoors.

I look forward to getting to know you!

Mark

Blipfoto photo blog: https://www.blipfoto.com/Purko

Maria Brandsøy