Clare Robinson - What our students say - University of Derby

Clare Robinson, Geology with Environmental Hazards

Where did you go for your work placement and what were the reasons behind your choice?

I did my work placement with the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. The reason I chose to do my work placement there was because I come from Northern Ireland and I discovered I could complete my work placement over the summer while I was at home.

What did you get involved with while you were there?

On the first day, I did some petrography and wrote a quick summary of the rock type I was observing. I also had a talk with the woman who controls the GSNI and BGS social media accounts and she discussed with me what her job entailed, as well as doing social media, she told me that she was a Geoparks Geologist who went out and visited Geoparks across the world.

The days following saw me talking with other people from the GSNI team which only consists of 12 individuals for the entire country. I learnt about the Radon count across the Mourne Mountains and how that information is used in relation to the public. I also talked with someone who responded to public enquiries related to boreholes and disused mines. I was lucky enough to visit the core store and have the freedom to ask questions. A PhD student was working in the core store and I had a discussion with her about what she was studying and what her goal was with her studies.

On the last two days, I went out into the field and collected samples of Granite from the Mourne Mountains which would be analysed in the lab and a write up would be completed. I also travelled into the Republic of Ireland to look at some Ring Dykes which were on the opposing side of the Lough to the Mourne Mountains.

How has your work placement helped with your studies?

It has helped me choose what path I want to pursue as a Joint Honours student, as well as shown me what I need to do in order to achieve my end goal.

What was your favourite part of your work placement experience?

My favourite part was going up the Mourne Mountains as the Geologists were able to point out features which I wouldn't have originally seen. I have also learnt some new information about Northern Ireland's igneous rock types which I didn't know before.

What would you say to anyone interested in doing a work placement as part of their course?

Go for it. It gives you an insight into the 'real world' and what jobs are out there. The people you do your work experience with can also give you some great advice as to what path you might need to take in order to reach your end goal such as doing a Masters or doing further work experience.