Ajani Palmer

Meet Ajani, who inspires others about geography through teaching and has plans to propel his career in a new direction.

Current job roleTeacher
Year of graduation2020
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Geography
Ajani Palmer

Teacher training

‘Since graduating I have pursued a career in teaching. I was encouraged to do this by my lecturers, and I attended an open evening for teacher training at university where I met with teaching alliances who I could train with. Geography is a subject short of teachers and I was offered a bursary to train, so financially this was the best option for me.

'It has been a really good experience so far. I enjoy talking about geography, so becoming a geography teacher was a way I could do that every day. For me, geography is such an important subject that everyone should learn, and I like inspiring the next generation to appreciate the world they live in and understand their role within it.’

Ambitions to fly high

‘However, for me, teaching is a steppingstone towards my ultimate goal of becoming a commercial pilot. Since I was 4 years old, I've always wanted to fly planes and I have maintained those aspirations throughout my life. I knew a university degree would make me a higher earner so I could fund my licenses. I am now one step away from returning to that career path and completing my pilot licenses. The skills I have learnt teaching will help me to build more hours as an instructor, so teaching has fit well into my overall career path.’

Life at Herts

‘I loved the fact that my course was very practical and not just classroom based. We had lots of opportunities to do practical work, as well as trips to places like the Lake District and Switzerland. My course also organised networking events to meet with professionals in the industry, which helped with securing placements. Herts is also one of the few universities that has a site like Bayfordbury where I could do practical lessons.’

‘However, my favourite memories of my time at Herts are centred around events and activities organised by the University. Whether it was nights out at the Forum or day events organised by the SU, this was an opportunity to meet with other students.'

‘I chose Herts because it was for me, in the perfect location. Less than a half an hour train to London was a massive plus. I wanted to go to a university that had a campus experience, but one that was also close to London.’

Advice for other students and new graduates

‘The best thing for me about Herts was being able to try many different things. Every student can try something new, meet new people and learn about other cultures. The connections you make at university could be lifelong. Outside of university these opportunities don't come that easy, so make the most of it while you are there.’

‘Graduates can still lean on lots of university support. My lecturers were very helpful to me becoming a teacher by providing advice and references. The Careers and Employment Service are an invaluable resource that is only afforded to you as a university student and graduate, so make the most of it!’

For me teaching is a steppingstone towards my ultimate goal of becoming a commercial pilot.