"I studied geography at GCSE, A Level and through to BA Geography at Plymouth
Business Development Manager, Certitude
At university I ended up focusing on the social aspects of geography, especially socio-economics and urban demographics which have helped in my current job. I’ve always loved travelling and after a year working abroad I settled in London and started this position in January 2014.
What does your role entail?
Certitude is a charity that supports people with mental health problems and learning disabilities across London. I work closely with caregivers and our frontline staff to write concise, effective proposals for new contracts and funding opportunities to further our work as a social care charity. These applications form the bulk of my work and to ensure the quality of these I regularly meet the people we support to explore how they experience our care, finding out what they like or don’t like about our services so we can improve. I also volunteer with my charity, taking our service users cycling twice a month and organising social events. Helping people is really important to me and it’s really satisfying when work that I’ve done has a positive impact on the lives of others.
How does geography help you in your everyday work?
Geography teaches you so many skills that are relevant in the professional workplace. Analytical research, report writing, understanding connections – geography provides a great opportunity to learn these. For me, understanding and creating connections between varying pieces of information is really important. For example, how does the care the person receives in a care home in East London relate to a football course for young people with learning disabilities in central London? I have to be able to create links and discuss them effectively as this is a core attribute of geography.
Advice to someone thinking of taking geography further
The great thing about geography is its diversity. The skills you gain from a geography degree are transferrable to just about any role you can imagine. Regardless of whether you enjoy humanities, ‘hard’ sciences or more theoretical subjects, geography will have something for you.
Other geographers working in this sector include:
Advanced Skills Teacher
Chief Executive, Lake District National Park
Fundraising Officer, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Her Majesty’s Prison Service
Livelihoods Project Officer, Save the Children
New Business Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
UN Strategy Branch, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Women’s Outreach Worker, Together Women Project