Undergraduate study

“I was lucky enough to do an internship with Abercrombie & Kent, a luxury destination management company, where I spent a few incredible months working on a small island off of the Pacific coast of Panama.”

Phil Bamber

Year of Study: Final
Qualification(s): BSc (Hons)
Course: Geography

Why did you choose Loughborough University?

Geography is a very versatile subject; you learn and continually develop a wide range of skills that can be applied to many different job roles and business sectors. I don’t think that studying geography dictates a particular industry you have to progress into after you graduate and it keeps a lot of options open, which appealed to me.

There is a real emphasis on developing yourself as a whole person here at Loughborough and this was evident from the open day onwards (the sports facilities are pretty good too!). Opportunities to undertake practical work outdoors and travel overseas as part of my degree within the Geography department were also two big pull factors.

What do you enjoy about your course?

I enjoy learning the science behind how the natural world works and how amazingly complex and dynamic natural systems are. I find it fascinating how events in one corner of the globe can have such a big impact on human populations, resource availability or ecology many thousands of miles away, and / or many years later. The lecturers are great at bringing topics together and showing this interconnectedness of processes and systems that you never thought would be linked as closely as they are.

Some of the favourite things I’ve done on my course include spending a week in the Arolla valley in Switzerland on an Alpine Studies Field course. Seeing such a beautiful and dynamic environment in person was incredible! We took tree cores to analyse the age of a selection of trees across a glacier foreland. This then allowed us to date underlying rock features across the valley. We could then build up a picture as to the history of that valley; when did rock falls occur for example and at what point in time was the glacier at its greatest extent.

We only see a snapshot of these environments when we visit them, but through this Dendrochronology project, we were able to see just how dynamic these environments are. They are constantly changing through a variety of processes. Being able to visualize this in-situ was really interesting!

What other different things can you do as part of your course?

What I also like about my course is the option to do a language module. I am currently taking Spanish, which has been a really fun environment to learn in and I am acquiring a skill that could allow me to do so much more in the world of work when I have leave Loughborough. Another string to my bow!

What do you think of the teaching quality and facilities?

The lecturers are great. They speak to you as equals and make you feel very comfortable to ask questions. They are all hugely passionate about their own areas of research and this really comes across in their teaching.

Have you had any support from the University?

The department were great in helping me to organise the time out for my internship when the opportunity arose half way through my second year. The department were very accommodating with me taking a year out and making the most of this opportunity. The timing would have been awkward for the department logistically, as it was outside of the traditional slot used for internships; however they still fully supported me.

Any concerns I have had with the course I have been able to voice through Programme Representatives and module feedback forms and I believe any concerns have been seriously listened to and acted upon.

Have you done a professional placement or internship?

I was lucky enough to do an internship with Abercrombie & Kent, the world's largest network of luxury destination management companies. I had an incredible few months working on a small island off of the Pacific coast of Panama.

I took a huge amount from this time and some of the biggest positives I took from the experience was building contacts and networking with people I will hopefully have the chance to work with again after I graduate. The team I worked with as a part of the internship was made up of mostly Spanish speakers and the time spent with Abercrombie & Kent developed my language skills and tenacity enormously.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I would like to progress into the hospitality industry in the UK or overseas. Working in a front of house or management role in restaurants, hotels or on yachts is where I think I’ll head. So many of the skills I have learnt at Loughborough, time management, communication and leadership, will transfer fantastically well into a hospitality setting!

How do you find the social atmosphere on campus?

The social side of my degree has been great. Meeting new people, having new experiences, I feel that these are the memories that will last with me for a very long time. Everything in Loughborough from an academic standpoint is fantastic, but the social side of the University really has made the experience.

There is so, so much to get involved with. Cultural celebrations, charity fundraising, sporting fixtures and training; it really is all there to take part in. Whatever your interests are or if you fancy trying something new, there is so much to choose from throughout each week and throughout the whole year. I feel we really are spoilt for choice.