Hannah Cooper graduated from Edinburgh University two years ago. Staying in the field of hydrology, Hannah successfully completed a Masters in hydrology and climate change at Newcastle and is now employed as a graduate consultant within flood risk.
I am currently working at graduate consultant within the flood risk team at aecom in Leeds. I have been working a month so far and I’ve been working on a couple of projects so far. Most recently ive been developing a model to carry out an optioneering study to reduce flood risk in central Middlesbrough. I really enjoy my job so far and I feel like Im learning so much every day.
I could have got my job straight after uni it turns out as there is another graduate in my team who came straight from a geography degree! I didn’t realise that this was possible at the time so I went and did a Masters after my BSc due to advice from a lecturer at Edinburgh. I went to Newcastle uni for the year and did a course in Hydrology and climate change which complemented skills I had learned at Undergraduate and provided me with more specialist training in hydrology. The course gave me a link between geography and civil engineering which has helped a lot with my training so far.
I feel that a knowledge of how watercourses affect people and the environment and climate change was helpful with my masters and my job. It’s easy at work to sometimes forget that the main reason we’re doing projects is to support people and infrastructure and I think by doing geography it has helped me to think about that more! In addition skills on ArcGIS has been useful as we use it at work sometimes along with other mapping programs, so unfortunately, it’s worth paying attention to how to work it properly!
Both the courses I did really helped me to work out that I wanted a job using modelling and working for a consultancy where you work with lots of different clients like the ea and water utilities as it’s interesting having work that is quite variable from project to project. I would definitely recommend doing an MSc straight out of uni if you know you want to go into something specialist as you may end up needing to do one a couple of years down the line anyway.
I got the job through looking online on websites like target jobs which advertise graduate roles in various companies. I would recommend making sure you feel very happy with your cv and cover letter before starting to apply by going to see a careers adviser. And keep track of when deadlines are!