Where will Geography at Birmingham take you?

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about when you start university. Geography students, alumni and staff talk about support provided by the Careers Network at the University of Birmingham.

Title: Where will Geography at Birmingham take you?

Duration: 4.42 mins

Speaker Names (if given):

  • S1 Course Tutor – Steven Emery
  • S2: Lauren Heath – final year Geography student
  • S3 Lucy Harrison – Alumna
  • S4 Luke Olly – Northfield EcoCentre
  • S5 Catherine Tomlin – Student Engagement Team member

S1: Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about when you start university.The structure of our geography degree and the support you receive during your time at Birmingham will equip you with the essential transferable skills for future employment. Many of our graduates will use their skills to get jobs directly related to geography, including nature conservation, environmental consultancy and town planning but their flexibility and breadth of skills also makes them highly regarded by a very diverse range of future employers from both public and private sectors. So, where will Geography at Birmingham take you?Approx 30 seconds

S2: The Careers Network I’ve been in touch with since the beginning of university. So from first year all the way through to my final year. I’ve been to see them for one-to-one meetings in preparation for interviews, but also they run numerous sessions all throughout the year really, really regularly on things like assessment centres, how to portray yourself best in front of employers. And all the different Career Fairs they put on. They advertise so many different companies and they have such good connections with the different companies that it gives you so much more opportunity to gain that graduate job.

S3: So I was very physical geography until the end of my second year and then I thought I’ll go and try some Human Geography and actually really enjoyed that as well. So I managed to get the best of both worlds while I was here at Birmingham. I found out about the Birmingham Children’s Hospital internships through the Careers Network and thought, well, I may as well apply it sounds quite interesting. It’s a year out after you graduate doing a paid internship getting experience of management within the NHS. I had my interview just after graduation in the summer and thankfully got a position with Child and Adolescent Mental Health. So I’m currently working with the management team there.One thing they’ve noticed since I’ve started working there is a much more holistic view of everything. I’ve been able to write reports on population characteristics, which is very typically geography but they love it at work because they’re all like “It’s such an interesting perspective that we’ve never thought of before”.

S4: I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Geography. I currently work for a charity called Northfield EcoCentre where I’m the assistant manager. I got the post just a few months after I left university. I’d been volunteering for the organisation during my studies and obviously that really helped me to get the job there, I knew the organisation well, and they took me on board.During my time at the University I was really supported by my tutors finding placements within organisations to do my studies and just to understand how to make those connections. Having a Geography degree from the University of Birmingham is a really big help. People understand that I’ve got a great foundation in the topic area that I work in.

S5: The Student Engagement Team helps geography students by putting all the information of the Careers Network out there; on the facebook page, Twitter page, sorting out the hubs and putting posters up around campus. We also have a monthly newsletter where we put information and job opportunities. I got recruited to the Student Engagement Team through WorkLink. WorkLink provide job opportunities for students on campus during term time. Doing this job means that I’m gaining valuable experience whilst at university. It’s another thing to do on top of my course and it gives me good experience to put on my CV.

S2: I have recently secured a graduate job with a company called E C Harris. They were there at the Careers Fair and that was the first time that I’d ever heard of them. They kind of approached me and said “We do actually really value geography students” because geography students bring knowledge of sustainability and environmental concerns which in construction and built assets is actually quite useful. And then I applied to them, it was a really easy process only a couple of stages and then I went to assessment centre and at the end of it they offered me the job. It is a permanent job from day one and at the end of it I will be a qualified Chartered Surveyor, hopefully within three years – which will be really good.Try and gain every single opportunity that you can because it will really, really support your CV and the skills that you gain from those opportunities will really help you in gaining a graduate job in the future.

S1: So wherever you choose to go with your Geography degree, you will graduate as a highly employable, independent global citizen.