Inspired at an Open Day at the University of Greenwich Medway campus in Kent, Katie James joined the BSc Environmental Science degree course in 2016.
After completing her A-levels, Katie started work to financially support her family. She took on a role as an assistant in a pharmacy, though soon realised it wasn’t for her, along with numerous other jobs she trialled over the following five years. Katie wanted to make a difference in the world and knew something had to change.
Taking the first step, Katie attended our Open Day in the summer of 2014.
“I didn’t know what to expect or what degree I really wanted to do. I studied Environmental Science at A-level and after speaking to Dr Peter Burt, Programme Leader of the Environmental Science degree, I felt inspired. The staff encouraged me, gave me lots of good advice and I had the opportunity to talk to students already studying this degree. I left knowing that I would enrol.”
Katie explains that her mind was made up, but it wasn’t easy to work through finances and she needed to balance studying and supporting herself. By using the university financial advice services, she was able get the help she needed to sign up.
Asked what she likes about her degree, Katie commented, “It allows me to see how I can personally make a difference to environmental problems affecting the world through research-based solutions. Food security is a sector I find particularly interesting and by developing a career in this field, I can undertake research which creates a positive physical change.”
Katie goes on to explain that she loves that her course caters for all different styles of learning, from lectures to laboratory time to fieldwork.
“The variety keeps it interesting and I’m constantly learning in an exciting and stimulating environment.”
Katie praises her lecturers and the advantage of doing a degree run by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich in Medway. “I’m lucky as I am taught by lecturers who are involved in research projects and have incredible experience from all over the world. They are enthusiastic, passionate and creative in getting us engaged – they know their stuff and you can tell they love it.”
She describes one occasion when Peter Burt entered the teaching room with a colander on his head. It was the penultimate week of the first term when the days were short, cold and dark. No one commented for the first 20 minutes, after which Katie asked why he was wearing a colander on his head, Peter simply replied, “It’s my advent colander.”
Thanks to NRI at the University of Greenwich, Katie’s got a clear career path and is now aspiring to do a PhD.
"Aged 26 I'm aspiring to a PhD."
Find out more about studying with NRI
Look out for part two of Katie’s story.