Q&A With Nick Little, International School Aberdeen (ISA)

Graphic representing Women in New Energy: Q&A with Nick Little. The image features Nick's name and job title, alongside a photo of him.
Nick Little, Head of School at ISA, discusses the importance of ignoring stereotypes and preparing the next generation.

Why did you choose a career in education?

I feel I was destined for it, but I did try other professions – training first as a lawyer, but it wasn’t for me.  I love the optimism of the teaching profession – there is always a sense when working with children that you are helping to create the future.

The new energy sector is rapidly evolving, what do you think we can expect to see in the next three, five, and ten years?

Looking at the sector as an educator, I think of it similarly to how the internet has probably had the biggest impact on education since the invention of books, but over a far shorter timeline. I would imagine Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have the biggest impact on the energy industry and education in three, five and ten years. Like all technologies, there is both good and bad – our job is to mitigate the bad and leverage the good. 

What would you say is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Parents have a set of expectations about schools based on their own experiences as children – in an international school this is incredibly varied.  At the same time, schools are not trying to avoid replicating the past, but to live in a rapidly changing present and to prepare for an uncertain future. Against this backdrop, we have to both meet and shape expectations. 

Why do you think diversity is important?

We work in complex environments, which are both technical and human.  It is dangerous to think that to navigate these environments all we have to do is gather masters of particular processes.  Without diversity in our workforce – especially in our key decision makers – there are issues we simply don’t realise until it is too late, and solutions that are unseen until we have fallen too far behind to adopt them.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in new energy?

From a young age, children develop a strong sense of the way the world works and what kind of person does what kind of thing.  Schools have a responsibility to ensure that no child defines who they are in a restrictive way.  We have to inspire children’s imagination.

I would advise any young person considering a career in the energy industry to not allow stereotypes and preconceptions to sway their decision. At ISA, our mission is to ensure children leave school prepared to embark on the next stage of their journey.

Find out how ISA is shaping next generation

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