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School of Geography

Martha Schofield, BA Geography (Industrial)

I have always been passionate about issues of social justice and responsibility on a global scale. My BA Geography degree at Leeds has nurtured, challenged and developed this interest, in a way that has ultimately turned my enthusiasm into key skills that will equip me to have a career in this field.

The compulsory modules in first year covered a broad range of topic areas, from local Leeds-based issues to globalisation. This effectively laid the foundations of knowledge for us to tailor our degree to meet our interests as the level of module choice continually increases as you move through the course. It has been great having a varied learning environment including lectures, seminars and a one-to-one personal tutor. The support of my personal tutor was especially important during first year, when studying at University felt quite daunting and unfamiliar.

Having access to over 250 different societies and one of the best student Unions in the country means that there is always so much to get involved with outside of studying. The Give It A Go programme gives you the chance to try out completely new things and make friends whilst doing so – I have since tried everything from meditation to gymnastics! I strongly recommend being in a society as it adds so much to your University experience and helps you settle in quicker. My role as a fundraiser for the Leeds RAG Fashion Show, sponsored by Harvey Nichols, definitely remains one of my University highlights. As a city, Leeds itself is also brilliant. Being a student here means you get the best of both worlds as you experience campus life so close to the city centre, and can access the countryside really easily too.

I always knew I wanted to do a Year in Industry, and the fact that geography staff were so flexible and accommodating meant I was able to find a great placement in my own time. My love of Leeds meant that my role as Global Community Project Assistant in the International Student Office at the University was perfect. During my internship, I have regularly drawn upon the skills that studying geography has given me, such as in relation to organisation, time management and presentation ability. It has been really interesting gaining insight into working at the University as a member of staff, as opposed to being a student, and I have found it inspiring to see how dedicated staff across the University are to enhancing the student experience.

I could not recommend taking a Year in Industry highly enough. It truly does prepare you for the world of work and allows you to add so much to your experience as a student at the University of Leeds. Returning to your studies in fourth year is an exciting prospect, particularly when I have so many skills, from my internship and previous study, to bring with me.