Naomi Walker, studying in the School of Geography , BA Geography (Industrial) course.

Naomi Walker

As soon as I attended the post offer open day at Leeds, my interest in BA Geography was sparked. Listening to talks from the research clusters, meeting staff and current students and walking around the city made me feel excited; I knew this was a place I could see myself spending three years.

Since then, not only has geography at Leeds held my interest, but it has provided multiple opportunities to learn about a huge range of globally relevant topics, enhancing my understanding of topics from postmodernism to policy and emigration to epidemiology. The wealth of choice is a real strength at Leeds; focussing on either physical or human geography allows students to really specialise along one of a group of well-planned module pathways. I have chosen to focus on analytical, quantitative modules, within which GIS and Retail Geography courses particularly stand out. Their strengths are the linkage of theoretical work to practical classes allowing me to learn multiple employable skills with software such as Excel, MapInfo and NetLogo. The lecturers teaching these modules are specialists in their field, however, more importantly, they are friendly and approachable, and are happy to spend time talking through ideas with you. 

Alongside my studies, I have chosen to get involved extensively in the Geography department. I immediately joined GeogSoc and made some great friends through their organised socials, including a trip to Amsterdam. I have taken on responsibility through the society, as a First Year Rep and then as Treasurer. These two roles, as well as my involvement as an Open Day Ambassador and as the School Rep, sharing students views with the union and lecturers to improve the department, have honed many of my 'soft skills'.

The combination of my practical, theoretical and extracurricular experience and encouragement by the department led me to complete a Year in Industry at Lloyds Banking Group in the third year of my studies. Working in a statistical analysis team for a year, enhancing my analytical skills, commercial awareness and confidence have put me in a fantastic position for my final year. I was able to attain three job offers fairly easily, having a strong CV and a rounded set of skills, so I had a choice of what to do post university. I will be starting on the Lloyds Risk Graduate Scheme in September, and I can't wait for the next challenge!

In summary, Leeds sets you up for life. Not only academically, but socially and in terms of employability. I will leave university with a group of friends for life, a good knowledge of a subject I love and an exciting graduate job. I would recommend geography at Leeds to anyone wanting a rounded university experience on a respected course in a bustling student city.