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School of Geography

Amanda Clay, BA Geography 2009

Amanda Clay

"I graduated in 2009 with a 1st in BA Geography (International). My main area of interest was sustainability, and I wanted a career which would have a positive impact on the environment, and help people at the same time. 
In September 2009, I was offered a voluntary placement with Groundwork West Midlands on their Graduate Apprentice Scheme. I spent 5 months working with their communities team on projects including improving green space in local communities and providing workshops for unemployed people. I was also given the opportunity to go to Malta on a work placement for a month, which involved working with a primary school on environmental projects. 
Once I finished at Groundwork, I decided to pursue a career in horticulture. I had become interested in food growing while writing my dissertation, and was looking for jobs which involved running community food growing groups. As I had no horticulture qualification, this proved difficult, so I applied to be a trainee at a new project in Paignton, Devon. Since April 2010 I have worked 4 days a week in a community garden, completing a Work Based Diploma in Horticulture, which will hopefully enable me to get a job in horticulture in the future. My placement has now finished, but I have been asked to return for a further 4 months to help the new trainees get settled in, and work 1 day a week helping with the administration of the project. I hope that this experience will enable me to get a full time job once I have finished in the summer. 
My time as a Geography student at Leeds helped me to realise what I want to do with my life, and gave me the necessary skills to be able to successfully help with managing projects. The direction my career has taken proves that having a Geography degree does not limit your options, you can go into what ever area of work you want to."