Name: Lewis Barwell
Congratulations on receiving your award, how did it feel when you found out you had won?
I was absolutely elated, I couldn’t believe that I had won against all the other fantastic nominees from around the country.
Tell us about how you were entered into the competition and the reasons you were chosen as the winner:
All students in second and third year Geology and Joint Honours received an email about the prize and how to enter for it. I’d achieved very good grades in second year and had a few extra-curricular activities such as being on the Derby US Geological Society committee, so I thought I’d have a pretty good chance at being the nominee for the university. I sat down and typed out a page of why I thought I should win the £2000 prize (which I found it pretty tough to brag about myself for a whole page). I was informed I’d been selected around mid-November as the nominee for the university and was incredibly happy at that, thinking that’s as far as I’d get.
I’m not sure exactly why I was chosen among the many other nominees from the other universities. I can say that the main thing I did was to make sure I read through the web page for the prize and made sure my application letter satisfied what they wanted, like if you were writing a cover letter for a job application. The main reason I think I was chosen is due to my commitment to the discipline and the effort I put into doing as well as possible in second year.
Have you won other awards in the past?
Throughout school I was always an above average student in terms of grades, but I never did exceptionally or won any awards. Even when I came to university I thought that trend would continue, but after second year I received the two awards for academic performance which gave me the momentum to continue doing my best for the remainder of university.
What motivates you to pursuit a career in Geology?
I’ve always had a passion for the natural world and I enjoyed physical geography throughout school and sixth form. I chose to do Geology at the University of Derby due to the amazing field trips and how many job opportunities there were linked to the subject. Simply put, it’s a subject that you can get incredibly invested in as it makes you see the world in an entirely new way. Geology has so many open doors, so pursuing a career in any aspect of geology, whether it be academia, engineering or resource exploration I’d always be able doing something that I have a passion for.
How does your course inspire you to succeed?
I believe enjoying the subject you’re learning about and having that drive to do better is the most important factor when it comes to succeeding. The Geology course at Derby makes the subject very interesting by teaching us a variety of subject areas. Most importantly it has fantastic field work experiences with staff who are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the areas we visit.
What would you say to others considering entering the competition?
Just make sure you show that you are committed to the discipline and do the best you can academically. This award also shows the importance of doing things other than your course, be part of a committee or stand as student representative, anything to make sure you show you are that bit more committed.