Geographers are at the heart of many of the solutions to the world’s environmental problems. From the siting of dams to planning the transport systems for big cities, geographers see the big picture of human impact on our planet. Many students don't realise that geography also equips them with a broad range of personal learning and thinking skills such as teamwork, independent enquiry and creative thinking - all highly valued by employers.
icould Video Interviews
Marita O'lochlin is an equine lecturer at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise. She absolutely loves horses and always has done, so this is pretty much her dream job!
George Ussher came out of retirement in 2000 to become Technical Services and Environmental Manager for Ulster Carpets Limited. He values education highly - "education really is an absolute must, even more so now than it ever was in my day" and has an Open University degree. George also has a busy life outside of work, keeping a herd of Aberdeen Angus cows and breeding horses for showjumping.
Connor McArdle worka for Ulster Carpet Mills as a Weaver. This basically involves maintaining the looms and making sure that the carpet that comes off each loom is fault-free. He left school to become an electrician, but whent the company he was working for went bust he applied to Ulster Carpets. Connor wishes he had stayed on at school, but doesn't like to have any regrets. He is also an avid Manchester United fan!
Anthony Hickman is the design project manager for Ulster Carpets in Northern Ireland. He has always had a passion for art and after finishing A levels Anthony did a degree in textile design. During his university studies he did a year long work placement with a carpet company, and found that this experience gave him the edge over other graduates when he left university to find a job.
Graeme Young is catering manager for East Belfast Mission cafe. He say "(we) Send forty hot meals into the community every day, and then we would have anything from sixty to a hundred people per day, that's for breakfast, lunch and in the snack bar as well. It's hard work, you need to put a lot of effort into it... you need to stick at it, you need to do your qualifications so you know what you're doing".
Gillian Young is the youth work co-coordinator in East Belfast Mission. She works with children from age zero up to twenty-five "I run a children's youth club which is from primary one to primary seven that's age five to eleven. I also run a hip hop dance class". She had been involved with the church from a young age, and after doing some training courses with them and finishing her degree she went into youth work.
Siobhan Fanning is a project coordinator for projects involving 11-14 year olds. She describes it as "lots of different projects from mad games nights, messy games, going on day trips, more informal education type stuff". She started volunteering at Youth Initiatives at 16 after having attended the youth projects herself and has now worked there for 11 years.
After a gap year in North London volunteering for a charity, Andy Hewitt decided that this kind of work was his calling. He is now a joint executive manager for a charity called Youth Initiatives doing youth and community work in West Belfast. He says, "We're talking about an area where there's a fair amount of social deprivation, poverty, unemployment, problems associated with that in terms of educational under-achievement, anti-social behaviour. So young people are perceived quite negatively within the community. What we're about is turning that round into a positive image".
Seamus McCracken is a lighting camera supervisor for BBC Northern Ireland and says "I don't have to be a boffin to do my job and to do it well... I love the process of filming, I just love taking pictures". When an uncle bought him a camera for his 14th birthday, Seamus discovered his passion for photography and after leaving university he found a trainee placement at the BBC as a camera operator.
Gary Cale grew up in Canada and came to the UK when he was 15. He spent some time trying many different careers before meeting his wife and becoming a taxi driver. Gary loves to learn and has acheived many qualifications as an adult in subjects such as IT, catering and diving. He hopes to become a chef in the future when he is fully qualified.