"My passion for the outdoors was a major factor in my choice of geography as a degree course. It is an academic subject that provides the opportunity to help maintain our environment for the future. Geography is a living subject, the study of everything around us and all the interactions. The broad scope of possible specialisms was also a positive thing for me, as at 18 I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Leeds was my first choice of university as, unlike many of the courses available, the vast majority of staff in the school are employed primarily for research, meaning that they are right at the forefront of their field and involved with the current issues in geography.
Geography at Leeds was everything I expected and more, the staff's knowledge and their commitment to my learning was excellent and I was able to approach them with any queries about the course content or other interests surrounding the subject. The pastoral support within the department also helped me a great deal as the pressures of studying and living away from home were understood and any problems I had could be shared and solved with a small team of non academic staff.
Field work and trips away also played a big part in my time in the School of Geography. The chance to work and socialise with staff and course mates in an environment other than the lecture theatre helped to create a friendly atmosphere that other departments seemed to be lacking. Opportunities to study abroad increased the scope of the course and the wide range of modules available meant that it was possible to really personalise your degree.
Whilst at Leeds I took the opportunity to enjoy a year in industry, working for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue was a great experience and the skills that I learnt there have made me much more employable. Since leaving university I have travelled in Asia, worked in Austria and I am now working as a sports coach at an outdoor centre near Manchester. I love my work and whilst it may seem that it is not directly related to geography I regularly use the knowledge I have taken away from the best degree course I could have chosen."