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
Sir David Bell is the Chairman of the Financial Times and also Chairman of the Transformation Trust. He says, "When you're young and you look at a career you're transfixed by the idea you might get stuck doing the same thing forever... but it is possible to do all kinds of different things within one company if you're lucky, or alternatively, of course, to do lots of different things in several companies".
Tim Byles is the Chief Executive of Partnerships for Schools. He says, "Partnerships for Schools is a company set up by government to help transform the quality of education for all young people in secondary schools... we're in the business of trying to make sure every young person in the country gets the chance to make the best of their opportunities, the best that life has to offer for them, in life outcomes as well as in education".
Tennille Melbourne is a teacher at the Michael Tippett School - a school for students with complex needs. She came to England from Australia and says "it's almost a rite of passage for us to come over and work and live in Britain... and that was what really motivated me, I wanted to travel and see the world. So I came over with a primary education degree, I came over to travel and to do supply teaching in primary schools".
Penelope Middleboe is the Executive Director of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity which provides opportunities in performing arts for children. She says, "I really do think you can do anything... you've got to have the energy to try and make contact, if somebody opens a tiny door to you".
Matt Huddleston is Principal Consultant on climate change at the Met Office. He says, "We provide weather not just to the UK weather forecasts and insight into climate but for the whole globe... we support our military all over the world, we provide half the world's airline forecasts above 10,000 feet and of course the BBC and media contracts like that".
Neil Jennings is a Director of a campaign called The Student Switch Off. He says "I came up with the idea of having a competition between halls of residence at the University of East Anglia to encourage the students to adopt small energy saving actions... we've just got funding to take it to 33 Universities for the academic year starting in September 2009".
Sam Thompson is a Researcher at the New Economics Foundation. He says, "We're essentially a research organisation doing research and advocacy on a range of policy areas, particularly environmental policy and social policy... People tend to hire us because they want something, want some new thinking and we have to sort of push ourselves to make sure we're being original".
Matthew Williamson is the Education Advisor at Queen Mary, University of London, "I work with anybody in the college from lecturers, PHD students to help them improve their teaching". He describes himself as "rebellious" at school, and did a degree in Librarianship before being offered a job as a lecturer while writing his dissertation.
Andrew Douglas left a career to become a self employed Potter. He says, "This is how I intend to make a living, it's not a very good living I must admit you'll never get rich from it. Unfortunately I'd got to a point in my career where things had started to click and made a bit of money and just worked out that I could stop and start doing something else instead".
Matthew Witt is a Business Operations Consultant for a "pretty large internet business". He describes the most satisfying achievement of his career, "the internet company that we started up... growing it to a stage where it's profitable and successful and then finding somebody else who was that excited by it that they wanted to pay quite a large sum of money for it, it's a very satisfying experience".