Graduate Success For Environmental Management Student
Ashleigh Taylor tells her story after graduating from the University in Environmental Management with a 2:1, explaining that her placement year helped her obtain employment after her degree.
A fantastic placement
During Ashleigh’s degree, she completed a placement year as an Assistant Development Agronomist with BASF, based in Suffolk.
Ashleigh said: “The work placement I did was fantastic. I had such an amazing time, making me feel really determined to get the best degree I could. As a result of working really hard during my placement year, I was awarded BASF’s student of the year. This was in addition to other company awards for my efforts for sample management and dispatch whilst covering a permanent employee who was on sick leave. I was also awarded the placement student of the year 2009/2010 in Geography and Environmental Sciences. I feel these awards really helped me to obtain employment upon completion of my degree and I would recommend that everyone completes a placement year getting as much out of it as possible.”
University experience and advice
Ashleigh thoroughly enjoyed her first, second and placement years and although she found her final year extremely stressful, her tutors were very supportive and dedicated. The degree itself, Ashleigh describes as interesting, with relevant and current modules.
Ashleigh said: “There were lots of practical elements throughout my degree, which I found particularly interesting and useful.”
Ashleigh’s advice to students starting on the programme she completed, is to get as much as you can out of the course by being as involved as you can not only in your degree but in the whole University experience.
She added: “Due to the diversity of modules on offer, I would recommend that you have an idea of the area you would like to eventually work in and pick your modules around that.”
Ashleigh is an assistant Quality Network Partnership co-ordinator, based at the University. Her role is funded through the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) and involves assisting in the implementation and development of area-wide transport quality network partnerships for St Albans, Watford and Hemel Hempstead through developing links with businesses and local partners. Ashleigh establishes and leads regular meetings with these bodies in order to determine how best to collect and analyse transport data within the partnership areas.
Ashleigh describes her job as ideal for a recent graduate interested in environmental management: “It covers a wide range of topics from air pollution, traffic management, data modelling and research.
Ashleigh added: “My degree provided me with the required skills needed to carry out my role efficiently, in particular well developed communication and research skills, in addition to an excellent knowledge base in the area of environmental management.”
Prior to Ashleigh’s current role, a month after graduating she gained a 3 month position with Exemplas carrying out research for a Wood Fuel project.
Now completing a 2-year part-time Master’s degree in Environmental Management for Agriculture, Ashleigh hopes this will provide additional skills to those gained through her degree and work experience. This in turn will open up many career paths and make her an attractive candidate to future employers.