Frances Fulton attended St Hilda’s from 2005 until 2011, and particularly enjoyed maths, science and languages while at school. She has always loved travelling, and took up the opportunities at school to visit other countries and learn about other cultures, going on the history trip to Vietnam in Year 12 and an exchange to France for 3 months during the summer between Year 12 and Year 13.
In 2012, she left Dunedin to study engineering at the University of Auckland and in 2016 graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. After finishing her degree, she remained in Auckland and worked as a mechanical engineer at multi-disciplinary consulting firm Beca. During her time at Beca, she spent 8 months working as a Shutdown planner at a Nickel processing plant in New Caledonia. It was a particularly challenging role for her, combining the difficulties of speaking French again after a 4-year break, and being immersed in a technical side of engineering she had not experienced at university. Frances’ time on site was a hugely rewarding experience that taught her a lot about the industry, and highlighted more than ever the need to encourage more women into engineering, as only 20% of the workers at the plant were female, even less in technical roles.
After 2 years, Frances was ready to leave New Zealand and travelled in Europe for 6 months before settling down in London where she lives currently. She decided in a slight change of career and now works in the construction industry as a Project Manager at AECOM. This new role brings new challenges and things to learn, yet Frances is open to returning to the technical world of engineering and plans to go back to University for further study. For the time being, she intends to stay in London for a few years, and hopes to balance her work life with travelling throughout Europe and beyond.