Wesley Dixon

Wesley Dixon


Why did you choose the University of Leeds / the School of Earth & Environment / your course rather than a different University, school or course?

I had already attended 4 different University open days before Leeds, which was my last one. At that point, I already had an idea of where I wanted to go anyway. Although I arrived 2 hours late due to train delays, the University of Leeds completely changed my mind. The University itself was so large and there just seemed to be so much going on all the time, I knew I would never be bored here. The lecturers were all very helpful and informative on the day too. I chose Geological Sciences as it seemed to be a course with an array of career opportunities in addition to more hands-on approaches to learning e.g. field trips and practicals.

What are the best things about your course? For example, year abroad, year in industry, the people, the social life, living in Leeds, etc.

The best thing about the course is the amount of choice you get, in terms of what modules you can pick each year if there are some you don’t like and some that you really do. In addition to the choice of destinations to attend on the 6-week mapping trip, of which all the areas would involve different learning styles to appeal to different types of people. It is also very easy to get to know people due to RocSoc and the number of field trips there are. Geology is definitely one of the most sociable degrees you can take!

How have you benefited from your course so far? 

I have made friends and contacts from all over the world. Learned about different cultures, ideas, even new languages, and that’s just from the students! Over the years I have been given an enormous amount of advice and help for perfecting exam and revision technique and which career would be best to pursue. Being at University has helped me learn how to cope with time management, researching and analysing work and ultimately maintain a positive attitude.

What stands out for you about your time at SEE? For example key challenges and highlights

What stands out for me would have to be my time in Portland, Dorset for 6 weeks for my dissertation. We were all aware we would have had to do that since day 1, for me it was quite daunting to think about. Even during the first week there, it was scary to think that those 6 weeks away contributed to 33% of my degree! However, we were given plenty of preparation beforehand and once the initial fear had disappeared it was actually very enjoyable.

How do you think you will use your degree? What do you think you will do next?

Once I graduate I will attempt to get a job with an oil company such as BP or Shell. There is a lot of competition for such jobs so have applied as early as possible to as many places as possible. Others include Centrica, Brindex and Santos, which is an Australian energy company.

If that fails I will try and improve my CV by undertaking a Masters.

What would you say to someone else who may be considering studying a course at SEE?

Geology is a very interesting course to study, however just like with most things, it will not be easy to begin with. At times it will be hard and confusing, there may be a shock from the academic jump from college to University, but remember that everyone is in the same boat, and everyone is there to learn. If you were able to get into university, then you’re capable of doing well providing you are able to work hard for it. You don’t want to spend your entire time at University in the library studying 24/7, but then you don’t want to spend your entire student loan during fresher’s week going out every night!

Once you manage to find the balance between work and play you’ll love it.

Extra pieces of advice:

Don’t buy all your coursebooks straight away. Although it is more convenient to have your own, they range from about £40 – £60 and the library should have a lot of copies.

Work hard and attend lectures right from the start. It is easy to get into a pattern of skipping lectures and thinking you will just catch up or work harder next year. It never works like that though, and those people with that mentality end up doing very badly or dropping out. Take into account that although 1st year doesn’t count to your final degree, what you get in that is a good indication of what you will get overall!

Learn to cook before University, and learn to cook more than pasta! Living off fast food is not only expensive and unhealthy but also causes you to be more lethargic and less motivated to do anything. You can get meat and vegetables from Leeds market for a very good price so it’s actually more beneficial to in a lot of ways to eat and stay healthy. Cooking in groups is also a good idea as it saves money and creates a variation on what food you have.