Emily Ashwell

Meet Emily. A geography graduate with a passion for all things nature.

Read more stories BSc (Hons) Geography
Current job roleAssistant Geospatial (GIS) Consultant for the Mobility Structures, Geotech and GIS Engineering team at Arcadis
Year of graduation2022
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Geography
Emily Ashwell portrait

Emily studied BSc (Hons) Geography at Herts from 2018 to 2022. Since then, she has gone on to achieve great success. She is a dedicated and driven professional, with a passion for geography and environmental sustainability.

Preparing for success

Emily’s love for geography developed at a young age. She says she has always, ‘adored the outside and I was constantly curious about the environment and nature’, which is what led her to pursue a degree in geography. Emily’s journey into the world of geographical and geospatial consulting all began here at Herts where she was introduced to GIS (Geographic Information System); a system used to analyse, create, and manage various types of data, and turning them into maps. Since then, she has been using it to provide visual and creative map outputs to large data sources through her dissertations, reports, and other large human and physical geo-environmental projects, specifically in natural disaster preparedness and management proposals.

Emily attributes much of her career success to her time at Herts, where she not only deepened her knowledge and love for geography but also found a supportive community and invaluable wellbeing resources. Her experiences at university have allowed her to pursue her passion for the environment further and advocate for mental health awareness, both of which she continues to incorporate into her career.

She goes on to say, ‘My geography course and lecturers encouraged my love of the world, the environment, and nature even further than I ever thought. I have been able to reconnect with the outdoors during my course in a way that allowed me to learn and encounter amazing adventures’.

Emily has struggled with her mental health. However, she feels that gaining a deeper understanding of geography and spending time in the physical world has helped her and made her who she is today.

Favourite memories at Herts

Emily has many fond memories of Herts, including the extracurricular activities she had the chance to partake in. One of her favourite memories is her final research trip to the Arctic, where a small group from her course travelled to Longyearbyen (Svalbard) and had the opportunity to undertake a range of geophysical research on glaciers, sub-glacial pathways geomorphology and geological deposits. The trip was led by Herts academic Dr Phil Porter, who undertakes field research missions to the high Arctic, Iceland, the European Alps, and the Himalayas to examine melting glaciers.

Emily’s career

Emily currently works at Arcadis, a global consultancy company, as their Assistant Geospatial (GIS) Consultant for the Mobility Structures in the Geotech and GIS Engineering team. She first joined the company as a graduate in 2022 and has since worked on key client projects, including a sustainability outreach initiative with the City of London Council and a data management lead role with Network Rail. At the beginning of 2024, Emily received her fellowship status from the Royal Geographical Society, gaining the FRGS (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society) accreditation.

Future plans

Going forward Emily’s biggest goal is to achieve her chartership as she believes this will open many more doors for her. She would also like to continue participating in further data-collecting activities, which she wants to pursue further after completing a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanning site visit that sparked her interest in the field of initial geotechnical data collection and study. In addition, she would love to further her passion for disaster management by volunteering to map vulnerable communities during a natural disaster cycle.