Fern - Geography

What do you do now?Fern Lynch - studied Geography at UWE Bristol

I am a Planning Officer at Swindon Borough Council in the Development Management team. Day to day I deal with planning applications, conducting site visits, negotiating amendments and writing reports.

Prior to this, I have had a variety of environmentally related roles such as a Carbon Management Consultant, in which I provided carbon saving advice to businesses and also managed their compliance of emissions trading.

Then I went in a different direction and became a Campaign Officer, working on a one of a kind project for Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority. This role was more marketing and engagement orientated, aiming to encourage recycling rates in deprived areas of Greater Manchester. As this was only funded for 12 months, I then decided to explore my interest in Planning and became a Planning Information Officer, within the technical support team at Bath and North East Somerset Council.

How did time at UWE Bristol prepare me for my current role?

As my degree in Geography covered a vast range of topics and issue, it’s provided me with an excellent foundation for all of my job roles post-graduation. My time at UWE Bristol taught me much more than just academic skills. My overall student experience provided me with valuable interpersonal and transferable skills such as time management, delivering at pace and team work. Since then I have returned to UWE Bristol to study a more specialised Masters in Urban Planning.

Advice for current students

Do as much volunteering, shadowing or work experience that you can get your hands on! Especially during your summer holidays. I volunteered at a local authority in the planning department, an acoustic sound consultancy and a renewable energy network all in one summer along with working in a shop.

I believe this shows employers dedication to learning and can also help you to tap into rare opportunities, setting yourself up for life after graduation. It’s about more than what you learn from a book, experience is so valuable to employers and it can set you apart from the pack.

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