What sort of career are you thinking of pursuing? What’s your dream job? What will you do when you finish uni? I know I’m probably not the only one who has been asked these sorts of questions over the years and most people I know have an answer. But what if you don’t have an answer? I don’t. At sixth form I wasn’t event sure if I would go to uni, I just knew I liked geography and here I am with one year left before I venture into the world of work. This summer I decided I would go and see what life was like for a geography graduate.
In July I spent a week with the Spatial and Land Use Planning team at Hertfordshire County Council. I had my own desk (how official) and was set tasks such as processing planning applications where I was able to use the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) programs I have used at QMUL Geography. I even had to present my planning permission decision to members of the department! I met the Flood Management Team and was lucky enough to go on a site visit with an enforcement officer to a working quarry that was being restored. Vast pits were being filled and the surface replanted or transformed into lakes – quite a sight to see! I got a really broad insight into everything that takes place and realised my degree is actually quite flexible – everyone I met had studied geography!
I then spent 2 weeks with the Sustainability Team within the Estates and Facilities department here at Queen Mary. So much goes on behind the scenes at uni and again I had my own desk (exciting stuff) and got to work on sustainable catering policies that would be implemented across the campuses, promoting future events such as Go Green Week and found out how EU and UK law is making energy reduction and sustainability an integral part of business.
With a bit of luck, and by sending a few emails, I’ve managed to get a clear picture of what life after uni might look like. Student life differs from what is expected of you at work but you take away knowledge and experience from time at uni. If, like me, you’re struggling to find an answer, go and see what’s out there – you may even discover something you’ve never even considered before! So do I have an answer to those questions? Not quite yet, but I do now know what paths I can explore, what skills and knowledge I need and have got the experience to help me get where I want to go, wherever that may be. Perhaps it’s time to dig out and tidy up that CV. . .
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