Our geography graduates find employment in a wide range of fields. They work in areas such as local government, retail, human resources, finance, insurance, ICT, education and research. Many of our students have gone on to postgraduate studies in subjects such as conservation; rural estate management; economy, society and space; and cities, culture and social change.
Check out what our graduates have gone on to do and how studying at Kingston helped them achieve their goals.
Name: Janak Mistry
Course: Geography BA/BSc
Name: Mark Banfield
Course: Geography BA/BSc
Name: Oliver Hall
Course: Geography BA/BSc
Name: Steve Smith
Course: Geography BA/BSc
Former student: Catherine McNeill
Year of graduation: 1997
Current job: Senior account manager, British Safety Council
Catherine McNeill explains how her Kingston geography degree has helped her to rocket up the career ladder and enjoy substantial financial rewards.
"I loved geography at school and was hungry to learn more about the social, economic, political and physical reasons behind why and how humans developed as they have and what the future may hold. I visited Kingston University and instantly liked the town and the people in the faculty. I signed up on the spot and cancelled all the other university visits I had planned.
"I found years two and three of the course particularly interesting and diverse. There was a really good choice of modules and I liked that Kingston offered all geographers the chance to gain a BSc.
"My second year was livened up by an exchange. I went to West Michigan in the US for a semester. This gave me the opportunity to study geography abroad and travel in the US. It also made me appreciate how lucky I am to have the opportunities afforded to me by virtue of being a British citizen.
"For my final year dissertation I conducted my research in South Africa. This gave me big brownie points in terms of my overall mark (a First) and, again, I got a taste of living and working abroad. I developed lifelong friends and had a fantastic, fun – although at times scary – experience.
"After graduating, my first job was as a buyer's clerk in retail. My geography degree gave me a good understanding of demographics and statistics, which is needed in this field. However, for personal reasons, I left to live abroad shortly afterwards.
"On returning to the UK, I got a job as an estate agency administrator. Six months later I was running my own office as a manager and negotiator. After this, I briefly returned to retail, and then in 2000 went to my current employers working as an account executive (sales) role within the health, safety and environmental sector (HS&E).
"I advise clients such as T-Mobile, MOD and Pizza Hut about how to improve their HS&E systems. I have been offered various roles at the British Safety Council, but chosen to stay in sales, progressing up the ladder to become one of just two senior account managers.
"However, I am leaving shortly to take on a new role at a company that provides performance improvement solutions. I will be working with some of the world's leading firms to develop new business across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. My proven ability has enabled me to earn a £45k basic salary, with an opportunity of £80k in year one, going into six-figures for year two.
"My geography degree has given me the ability to appreciate the bigger picture, whether the canvas is my company or the global economy. I also have the tools to dig out small specific details. This enables me to thoroughly understand my client's business objectives and, in turn, helps me to sell the solutions my company provides. Commercial acumen and the ability to understand your marketplace are valuable skills to possess.
"Geography is a fantastic subject because it will give you a lifelong appreciation for the world we live in. In order to make a positive impact in business, you have to understand the needs, develop the skills and believe in what can be achieved – this is also what human geography will do for you."
Former student: Jodie Stewart
Year of graduation: 1995
Current job: Managing director/owner, Diffusion PR
Geography graduate Jodie Stewart has built an exciting career she loves in the music industry. She now owns and manages her own PR company promoting dance acts such as Armand Van Helden, Raghav, Kanye West & Christina Milian and Khia (see www.music2mix.com).
"I didn't have any idea about what career I wanted when I started university. I chose geography because it was a subject I really enjoyed at school, partly due to a great teacher (thanks Mr Browne!), and because I thought it could lead in many different directions.
"There are lots of reasons why I decided to study at Kingston. As an area it's beautiful. The town is one of the best – it has everything a student would want or need and the University itself appealed to me.
"I enjoyed the course – I was always more interested in physical geography and it allowed me to specialise in this area. But by the time I graduated, I still didn't know what I wanted to do career-wise. The fields I particularly enjoyed were very specialist (coastal management, earthquakes and volcanoes, floods and meteorology).
"However, during my time at the University, I worked at a local nightclub and spent the summers living in Ibiza. So I started promoting a night at a Kingston club each week. This was voted 'Best Regional Night' in the first ever UK Garage awards. As I also knew many DJs and had a keen interest in music, I was offered a position as a press officer in a music PR company called Phuturetrax, dealing mainly with dance music.
"After two years I was asked to work for Radio 1's Dreem Teem, doing their press and PR, and running their record label. I also set up a PR company on their behalf, promoting new music.
"In 2002 I decided to go it alone. I took the PR department I had created and set it up as my own company, Diffusion PR. I still own and manage Diffusion PR, but a year ago I incorporated the business with online promotion company DJ in the Mix (the first of its kind) with Eddie Gordon – a dance music industry bigwig.
"It's a brilliant job and very varied. I get to travel to music conferences in places such as Miami and Cannes, and there are lots of perks. Basically, record labels come to us with new tracks and artists, and we promote them to radio DJs, club DJs and the music press to get as much exposure as possible. It's good fun and a great feeling when I create a hit record from something no one has heard of.
"Although my degree has not directly influenced my career, having a degree makes people take me more seriously and there are things I learnt at University that have helped me. For example, university builds your independence and you learn to manage your time. This has stood me in good stead for running my own business.
"Geography has also given me a great understanding of everyday life. It's such a broad subject that it's ideal if, like me, you do not have a clear idea of what you want to do. Understanding the world around you can be applied to whatever you're doing."
Part of our women in science series – find out about Chrisa Tsiarigli, who graduated in 2002 with a Geographical Information Systems with Business Management BSc(Hons).
She is currently a principal public health intelligence specialist for the NHS south-west London sector.
The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.
The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting. For example, here students are practising their interview skills with employers at a 'speed interviewing' event on campus.
In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.
As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:
In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.
If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni. Here are some courses that might interest you: