Emma Liversage, Geography, 2014

What are you doing now?

After graduating I chose to stay in Derby and search for jobs. I was doing casual work whilst applying for graduate level jobs when an old lecturer got in contact with me about a job opportunity at Tracsis. I applied for work on a casual basis doing data capture for the company and after 3 months of doing this I was hired on a permanent contract.

I’ve been in the permanent role of Graduate Analyst since June 2015 in the Operations and Planning Systems Division and in this time have been trained in several different modelling software packages. As a consultancy we use the modelling software and its outputs to analyse and evaluate train planning rules for our clients who may wish to improve or make changes to their rail timetables.

What were the main reasons you took that course?

I chose to study Geography because it’s a very attractive degree to employers due to the variety of skills required. After looking at many Geography courses I chose the course at Derby as I really liked the range of modules offered. There was always an effort made by the staff to offer both physical and human modules. Some of the lecturers are active researchers in their fields or have been part of the industry in the past so could offer real life and up to date knowledge on the topics they were lecturing in. Field trips are also a huge part of any Geography course and I really liked the trips offered by this particular course. The University’s close proximity to the Peak District meant we visited it several times with certain course modules, giving us good practical experience of what we discussed in the lecture theatre.

I primarily chose Derby as it had smaller class sizes than many other universities

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

I primarily chose Derby as it had smaller class sizes than many other universities and I liked the idea of being able to interact with my lecturers and them knowing me by name rather than just another face. On a more social side the University has numerous sports teams and societies and I was a member of the rowing team for some of my time there. It’s a sport I had never done before but, after having the opportunity at Derby, is something I definitely want to continue.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

I feel a lot more confident after studying at Derby because during my time there I was a student rep, a student ambassador and held several society committee positions. These positions are available to all students and by getting involved it’s helped me develop my presenting and social skills, something that is essential in the workplace. As part of the course I studied a GIS module and being able to use Geographic Information Systems is a desirable quality that employers look for. Whilst my role as an analyst isn’t directly related to the GIS programmes I used, the fact that I had used software at university helped me when it came to learning the software I use now - it’s a good transferable skill. The way the course is assessed; as a mix of coursework, group work and exams, was a huge help when it came to working in an office as my job role involves writing reports and I work every day as part of a team. 

Derby is a great centre for transport jobs so there are plenty of opportunities for career progression or even further education

How did the lecturers inspire you?

All the staff were incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects they were lecturing on. The Geography team were always happy to answer my questions or help me find out the answer for myself. They also encouraged students to go for positions such as Student rep and my year group received a lot of support with starting the Geography Society.

What are your future plans?

Hopefully to progress in my career within Tracsis and eventually the wider rail industry. Derby is a great centre for transport jobs so there are plenty of opportunities for career progression or even further education.

I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to study Geography at degree level at a university that puts the students as its highest priority

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to study Geography at degree level at a university that puts the students as its highest priority. There are a range of interesting modules to choose from with friendly lecturers and great learning facilities like the library and computer labs.

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

I’m still in touch with a lot of people from uni! I currently live with people I met in first year accommodation and regularly meet up with course mates and people I met through rowing. 

"I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to study Geography at degree level at a university that puts the students as its highest priority." Emma Liversage