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Katie Scott

BA (Hons) Geography

Ba Geography Student Katie Scott NewWhere are you from?

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

My family is from Newcastle and I have always loved the city. I wanted to create my own experiences and memories. I knew that Northumbria would give me the opportunities to make the most of my time at university, support me in taking a placement year to gain work experience and push me to get the best degree I can.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

I have always loved Newcastle; you have access to the vibrant city, coastline and countryside. It has so much to offer and places to explore. Even in my three years of living in the city I haven't got round to doing half the stuff I wanted to do. You can never get bored as there is always something to get involved in or visit.  My favourite thing to do is tick things off my bucket list. Each semester I make sure I do new things and make the most of the city and surrounding areas. There are so many bars, restaurants and events. Making a bucket list is a great way to make sure you do as much as you can with your time at university.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

How friendly and welcoming everyone is. When you walk past someone in the street they say good morning and smile, they don't just walk past staring at the ground. If you are lost or want to find information about something, someone is always willing to help. This has allowed me to find local places around the city which I might not have normally found.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming? Was it easy to fit in?

During freshers week in first year there are loads of different ways to meet new people. In halls you meet a range of people on your first day and the fresher helpers are a great way to find your way round the university and city. My course did a few induction meetings and a tour of Newcastle which was really helpful and nice to meet the people on my course in a friendly atmosphere. As everyone is in the same boat and there is lots of help on hand. I found it really easy to fit in and settle into university life.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Meeting new people and making friends. I have made friends from halls, my degree and societies I have joined over the years. The university has great ways to meet new people and to be able to socialise during term.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

During university you need to have good support networks. My family and friends have really helped me as during first year I felt quite homesick to start with but with their support I settled in quickly and made the most of my experience. During the years I have also received a lot of help from my lecturers, they are always there to help if you need any guidance with an assessment or just someone to talk to. Building these relationships is really important and will help you enjoy your university experience so much more.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

My best friends. As I took a year out for work experience all my friends graduated the year before me. Watching them go through final year with all the assessments and still enjoying themselves and making the most of their time in Newcastle inspired me to do the same. Yes final year is hard but it is important to get a good balance between work and social life.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?

I joined the Photography, Equestrian and Geography Societies which were great ways to improve my skills and meet new people. I also took part in Volunteer Week in second year which I really enjoyed. Loads of different projects to join in and fit around your timetable. My highlight was the animal shelter, I love animals so helping them and going into the countryside was lovely. Great way to do your bit.

What is the best thing about your course?

I love the variety of my course. We are taught with a mixture of seminars, lectures and group projects. This means that there is something that suits everyones learning styles. The best part about Geography though is the trips; every year there is one. In first year we went to Edinburgh and the Lake District, second year we went to Spain and in third year we went to Amsterdam. Trips are a great way to learn outside the classroom and experience new places. For me they helped me conceptualize the lectures and seminars.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

How valuable family is. During my four years my family have helped me every step of the way. When you live at home you take for granted what they do for you but when you leave home and you need them, you start to really appreciate them. They are always there for you and keep you aiming toward your goals.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

After university I would really love to travel the world and explore what there is to offer. Career wise I would like to go into PR or management. During my time at university I have learnt so many transferable skills which would help in many different industries. One thing which will massively help me is my year in industry which the university supported me in deferring my final year so I could complete it. This gave me real work experience and helped me use and develop the skills I learnt at university.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences?

I deferred my third year to take a student placement scheme with a Championship winning Formula One team, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. I wanted to gain an insight into real world and have some work experience before I left university. It was also a great way to see if HR was something I wanted to do when I graduated. I am so glad I took the opportunity and pushed myself to take a year out. It was a hard decision at the time as it meant not graduating with my friends and pushing back my degree for a year. However, I 100% believe I made the right decision. On placement I learnt about HR, developed relationships throughout the business, learnt how to work in a fast paced and high pressure environment, and learnt how the transferable skills I learnt from university could be adapted into the work place.  I had the best year working and had so many highlights. Working for a Formula One team meant that I got to meet the drivers and as I am a huge fan this was such an amazing experience. Knowing you have had a small contribution to their success is the best feeling. Other highlights I had was being given increased responsibility throughout the year, at the end of my placement I had a lot of ownership of different projects which I really enjoyed and pushed me to develop a lot of my skills.  Doing this placement has put me in a great position for applying for graduate schemes. I now have so much to talk about and relevant experience on my CV. If anyone is thinking about a placement year I would highly recommend it. The university is so supportive with you deferring your third year if needed and it's a fantastic way for you to see if a certain industry is for you.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.

Each year we have to the opportunity to attend at least one trip. This has been one of my highlights of my university degree. They are a great way of learning in the field, experiencing new things, and getting to know the people on your course more. In first year we went to Edinburgh for 3 days at the start of the year and then the Lake District for a week at the end of the year. In second year we went to Spain for a week and visited Malaga and Spanish villages in Andalucia. In final year you can pick modules were you either go to Amsterdam for 4 days or Ukraine for 10 days.  All of the trips I have attended have been great fun and most of my friends who don't do geography have been incredibly jealous.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

It's a great university with so many supportive networks. There are so many opportunities for you to take up and experience and I would say take as many come your way. I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years at Northumbria and on placement. I wouldn?t change a single second of my experience.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

Since starting university I have grown up as a person. University has turned me into a young adult ready for the professional world. It has taught me so many valuable life lessons and has built my confidence. I don't feel fazed anymore by meeting new people or when I?m in new situations. If I hadn?t gone to university I wouldn't be the person I am today.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Motivating, exhilarating and inspiring

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?

Yes, I couldn't think of a better university to spend your student life at. I have made so many amazing memories here and I have learnt so much over the past 4 years. There is so much going on around campus and in the city. It is a great place to study!

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