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Heather James (BSc (Hons) Land Management 2010)


Currently, I am employed by the Government of the British Virgin Islands (UK) and attached to Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour as Senior Lands Officer. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, gardening and meeting new and interesting people.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

I chose the University of Reading for its Land Management programme because it was ranked within the top 1% for this program. Persons choosing any specialized field should assess universities based on the strengths and recognition of the programmes they offer.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

In my opinion, the University of Reading is a multi-cultural University. Hence, the attraction of various cultures allowed a smoother transition for international students whilst offering a basis of comfort for students, a home away from home. In my programme, there were not many African American/black students but I met persons from different cultures whom I am still in contact with today.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Align yourself with persons and form study groups. Do not be afraid to ask your Lecturers questions or to clarify points, as their sole purpose is to inspire and educate you. You should get value for money with your University Degree.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am at a level where I am tasked with advising members of Government on land matters. I am also charged with the responsibility of developing a Land Policy for the Virgin Islands. I got where I am today by never allowing myself to be phased by the challenges or road blocks within my path. I am also in the final stages of completing my APC.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Work experience is imperative. In this industry everyone was granted an opportunity at some point. The most important thing is to express your opinion if you can defend them.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

They provided me with the relevant assistance to ensure that I had the right resources available to me during exams.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Don’t be caught up with the idea of applying to big companies. Be content and apply to any organization with growth potential and one where you can be developed and make a positive contribution. Last but not least, pray to God for any good and bad experiences as they will eventually shape you into the person you would become.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

My memories of the University of Reading will be cherished with the idea that when I tell people where I got my Land Management Degree they say – WOW! There were a small group of professors such as Ginny Gibson, Neil Crosby and Colin Lizieri, who made my experience there enjoyable and memorable. In addition, I had a small circle of friends that befriended and encouraged me and made the journey manageable and allowed me to remain proud of my accomplishment.

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