Alex Podd, MSci Geography with an International Year, Student Ambassador

My time at Birmingham

Alex Podd

"I loved the idea of having such a large amount of flexibility in my course."

I decided to study at Birmingham for three reasons. Firstly I wanted the course – Birmingham is unique in my specific programme. Secondly, I loved the idea of having such a large amount of flexibility in my course – you can take modules from both the BA and BSc programmes whatever course you are on. Lastly, I adored the campus and the city. Birmingham is such a vibrant and exciting city and the University is so close!

My first year here has been great. There’s so much opportunity to try anything and everything with hundreds of sports teams and societies. Alongside this, the University is really good at helping first years to settle in with the Student Mentor scheme and the tutorial system within the Geography department. All the worry over the summer was completely unnecessary!

I really like the breadth of disciplines offered in first year – on the other hand though, I’m really excited to start to specialise in my second year! There’s such a broad choice of modules in second and third year that I’m struggling to pick.

Birmingham is gorgeous. It’s really not the concrete jungle that many people think it is! Shopping is great – even on a student budget, and the same follows with eating out. 

My future plans

In three years' time I’ll just be finishing my degree, hopefully with travelling lined up at the end of exams – after that though I’m not really sure! I know I’m going to be torn whether to move back home or stay in Birmingham though - it’s definitely my other home now.

Being a student ambassador

As a student ambassador, it’s my job to promote the University and the Geography department and the different courses offered within it. I work open days and applicant visit days helping to show the best that Birmingham has to offer prospective students and their parents. I decided to join as I loved promoting my school to prospective pupils, and I wanted to continue in that role!

Without trying to, you learn a lot about the Uni, about how your department runs and how modules work in future years. It’s also a great addition to a CV, but having the work within the University means flexibility and that my studies can always come first. 

My top tips for prospective Birmingham students

  1. Make sure you’ve fully researched the course you want
  2. Ask lots of questions – email lecturers, admissions tutors, current students, student societies
  3. Check that the uni you want has the extra-curricular activities you’re interested in – more often than not this will be a really good way to socialise and make friends!