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BSc Geography, Menzies Aviation (Management Development Graduate Scheme)

After 3 years here in the Geography Department at Swansea University it’s safe to say that studying here was one of the best decisions I ever made. Geography is such a popular subject to study here in Swansea having made many good friends on my course on top of an already friendly and helpful environment that the staff provide in the department.  Over the course of 3 years, I was a member of the Geography Society, Athletics and Cross Country team and an Ambassador for the department for UCAS open/visit days.

Studying Geography at Swansea

The 1st year of study you cover a mix of both the physical and human elements of Geography with modules such as Earth in Action, Global Environmental Change to Sustainability in a fragile world and Moving Worlds: Mobility and Migration.  Going into University I found that I enjoyed both Human and physical geographical studies, but after completing my 1st year, I found that I had a lot more interest in the physical modules.  In years 2 and 3 you’re given more freedom of choice to select your modules and because of this I tailored my degree more towards the physical side for the remainder of my studies.  The Department offer a Geographical Information System (GIS) module in the 2nd year this was not only a great opportunity to learn a new computer software for map making but also an opportunity to develop a new skill set as GIS is highly thought of amongst employers today.  In the 3rd year you’re given the opportunity to conduct your own research in the form of a dissertation, this allows you to really take control of your own interests and research to produce an academic report to be proud of!  Under my supervisor Prof. Neil Loader, I conducted my research on identifying climate extremes using various proxies such as tree ring width, tree ring density, stable isotopes observing various targets such as summer temperature, summer precipitation, cloud cover percentage etc. 

Field Trip Opportunities

The Geography Department in Swansea University provided many amazing opportunities to do study in the great outdoors from trekking around Porth yr Ogof to exploring the forests of Vancouver, Canada, studying the microclimates of the area and the geological landscape.  There is an opportunity in your final year to attend the Sikkim fieldtrip in the Himalayas which is a joint trip with other departments of the College of Science.  The fieldwork opportunities at Swansea University have been as various as they have been plentiful, and have given me a wealth of scientific experience (and memories!).  My favourite experience as an Undergraduate has been the field trip to Vancouver in my 2nd year.  I was lucky enough to be selected for this field trip and experience the breathtaking landscapes of Whistler and Squamish and learning how processes such as volcanism and glaciation helped shape the areas.  Also, I was very fortunate to be selected to represent the Geography Department as a Student Ambassador for 2 years, this was a fantastic opportunity for me to engage with potential applicants and develop personal skills as well as expressing the fantastic opportunities there are to study here and share my experiences as a Geographer in Swansea.

Over my time here studying Geography, I established great relationships with many of the lecturers here, the friendliness of the staff and helpfulness they offer helped me settle and fully immerse myself into the curriculum which made my experience here in Swansea very enjoyable!  Swansea is also lucky enough to have a wide variety of social societies, such as the Geography Society.  The Society organise a range of activities, such as, a trip to Amsterdam at the end of the 1st semester, and an annual Geography Christmas Ball which is held at the Grape and Olive restaurant.  The Christmas Ball is great way to unwind after a busy semester to which lecturers also attend and allows for a great evening to socialise with staff and course mates over dinner.  Whatever your passion, hobby or future aspirations, the Geography staff here at Swansea offer endless opportunities, support and encouragement to help you get to where you want to be. 

Where am I now?

The best thing about studying Geography is how the subject is so broad and the skill sets you learn and develop over the 3 years can be applied across many different business sectors!  I completed my degree and now work for an aviation company called Menzies Aviation on a management development graduate scheme in London Heathrow, working closely with the fuels and business development team of the company.  It goes to show that studying Geography can present you with fantastic opportunities after completing your degree where you could work in any type of industry. The skills I acquired over my 3 years have definitely helped me develop as a person and goes to show how studying Geography here at Swansea University is such a fantastic opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up.