BSc Geography (1st class honours, 2016)
I'm now a junior researcher at the BBC's Natural History Unit on the programmes Springwatch/Autumnwatch/Winterwatch, and when I'm not doing this I work on other TV programmes or at a wildlife rescue centre called "Secret World". In my opinion I have the best job in the world! Working in live television is such a thrill and every day is always different. Being able to combine my love for animals and wildlife with this makes it even better.
When I'm asked what degree I did my colleagues often laugh, believing I did a degree completely irrelevant to the industry I'm in now. However, I tend to disagree. There is so much about natural history that is relevant to geography, from the sweeping landforms and melting ice caps in Planet Earth 2 to the plastic pollution in Blue Planet 2. On top of this there are so many transferable skills from my geography degree that I use in my day to day work. Working to tight deadlines is very important during live television, as well as working well in a team and, for my job in particular, the research skills I learnt from my degree are invaluable. On top of this, the skills gained from the field trips I took part in, both locally in Wales and internationally to Canada and the Indian Himalayas, have been tremendously helpful in preparing me for working "on location", where days are spent outside in all weather conditions until late at night... just like a good geography field trip!
The field trips I took part in whilst at Swansea were the highlight of my degree. I was lucky enough to visit Vancouver in Canada for two weeks to study the natural hazards there, and then Sikkim in India to study the local people and the natural hazards they faced there. If I hadn't have done this degree I would never have been to Sikkim as it is such a remote and unknown location I would have never thought to go. I had never been to Asia before so the culture shock on arrival was almost overwhelming, but they were the most beautiful two weeks learning about a completely different way of life that I won't soon forget
Swansea as a place to live was a total laugh (in a good way!). Having the beach right on the doorstep was fantastic and meant for lots of beach BBQs and rounders games. Wind Street Wednesdays will go down in history, as will Sin on Thursdays. Varisty was one of the highlights of the year, being able to watch Cardiff vs Swansea in the Millennium Stadium was quite a privilege.
To any new students thinking about applying to Swansea I'd say... go for it!! Swansea was my second choice on UCAS but I am so glad I wasn't accepted into my first choice as I couldn't have asked for a better time at uni than at Swansea. If you're applying for geography, go on as many trips as possible, even if it means missing some nights out to save money! You won't find trips as heavily subsidised and organised entirely for you outside of uni! Do as much work experience as you can fit in as you will find this incredibly helpful at working out what you do and don't like, and will also help you make great connections. If it wasn't for the two work experience placements I did at the BBC I wouldn't have the job I have now.
Work hard, play hard and good luck!