Robin Spurr, Sustainability and Environmental Management int. BSc/MEnv student at the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds

Robin Spurr

Why did you choose to study at The School of Earth and Environment at The University of Leeds?

I chose to study at Leeds after seeing the unique opportunities the School of Earth and Environment offered. Seeing the whole university on my open day convinced me further; I loved the union, the gym, the range of societies on offer - it just felt right! The fact that I could take an integrated masters and study abroad in Australia in my third year sealed it for me. The city itself has even more to offer in terms of shopping, a buzzing café culture and the nightlife is non-comparable!
The School of Earth and Environment is unique; the undergraduate courses within it take a very holistic approach, allowing you to study both social and physical sciences. They also offer fantastic job opportunities both within and outside the environmental sector. I chose Sustainability and Environmental Management as I have always been interested in Sustainability and how we can balance the competing needs of society, the environment and the economy in a real world context. 

How have you found the course so far?

I have loved my course and the modules I’ve taken have ranged as much as I had hoped. From Natural Hazards and Chemistry first year, to Sustainable Futures and Business and Corporate Social Responsibility this year, all have been diverse in terms of both lecture staff and the scope of the module. Because of the small size of the course we’re a pretty close group. This cohesion has been reinforced with some great field-trips, including our social research project in Amsterdam in 2nd year. There we had the opportunity and independence to decide the focus of our research and plan the whole process. Mine was focused on the sustainability of museums in the city. It really felt like being a real academic and we were very proud of our results.

Have you taken part in any society activities?

I have taken part in lots of different societies over my 4 years. These range from sports, including Tennis, Netball and Korfball, to social societies such as Singing and Volunteering with Enactus. The course and school societies, such as, Enviro-Soc have been supportive of my academic development and also social life too.

Did you complete a study abroad year or year in industry?

My year abroad was fantastic. I enjoyed the challenge of studying at another world-renowned organisation (Australian National University). Studying in Australia gave me the chance to take new modules, and learn about sustainability from a different world context. My highlights include a month long research trip to Vietnam and I had the opportunity to work and save money for extensive travel in South-East Asia, Oceania and Central America. This has broadened my horizons not just physically, but also metaphorically and I have met amazing people and seen some fantastic things. Travelling and studying abroad has highlighted how much of a connected global world we are, which has furthered my interest in working to make sure we utilise our connections and protect the planet and its processes after I finish university. I am in the process of applying to management graduate schemes in a range of industries, from the environmental to financial and business consultancies.

How do you think studying at Leeds has prepared you for the future?

My short time at Leeds has given me skills in project management, data processing and report writing but more importantly in self-confidence, communication and optimism for the future.

What would you say to someone thinking of studying at Leeds?

I would recommend people to make the most of every opportunity you are given- you won’t be short of options to choose from!