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Kemi Williams (BSc Human Geography 2007)

Biography

I am a fun loving, very passionate person who loves to go out, read, eat, sing, travel and dance. I currently work as a Project Manager for an Engineering consultancy firm in Lagos, Nigeria. It is a role I am constantly learning in and striving to make work for me in terms of what I want out of a career. With work and life generally I hope to find the right pattern and right role that I can realize my full potential in and I believe I am well on the way.

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

At the time I chose to apply to the University of Reading, I already had two of my closest friends studying there so that was a big incentive. Once I visited the University and saw how beautiful the grounds were and how friendly the community was, I knew I wanted to be part of it.

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

The best bit about studying in Reading was the University community. It felt like I was part of one huge family. The grounds and layout of the university was also a huge plus- it was a joy to walk to class every day, just taking in the sights and greenery. The Oracle shopping centre and the bustling night life made living in Reading so much fun. It remains the best three years of my life so far.

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

1) Work hard and do your best, don't skive off classes unnecessarily. Trust me re-sits are the worst thing - having to study during summer, while everyone is having a blast. You will thank yourself later when you receive your degree results.

2) Have all the fun!! You will never be able to have those years back and you will miss them sorely.

3) Try everything at least once. Well, maybe not EVERYTHING!

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

After Reading, I studied at UCL for a Master’s degree in Development Administration and Planning. I desperately wanted to work in Development because the issues became very dear to my heart and it was related to my undergraduate degree. It unfortunately proved a very difficult sector to get into. Four years later, I have moved back home to Nigeria and after working in HR for a short while, I have been a Project Manager in a consultancy firm for the past three years and find that I deal with elements of development as well as human geography in my current role.

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

1) Do lots and lots of relevant internships and volunteer work during your free time – in the summer for example.

2) Think outside the box. Even if you are unable to secure the exact role you're after, other opportunities may very well be very closely related/relevant albeit in a slightly different way.

3) Be focused and be patient.

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

A few times during my stay at Reading, I visited the Careers Centre, with the hopes of gaining some perspective on what exactly I wanted to get out of my degree. I found the centre to be very informative with lots of leaflets bearing all kinds of information one might need. I also found the staff very approachable and helpful.

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

First of all, I wish them the very best in their finals. At this stage, they should give it everything they've got.

1) By now, they should have started the application process fully, letting the employer know when they will get their results. In which case, if your results match their interest in you, you're in, rather than just starting the process when you get your results.

2) I know the ultimate goal is a well-paying job but do not be downcast if it doesn't happen immediately, use that time to volunteer or take part in unpaid/low paid internships, you will be surprised how much value they add.

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

The University of Reading means a whole lot to me, I had some of the best, most rewarding experiences there and I met some of my very best friends there too. It remains the best three years of my life so far, I couldn't be happier and more content that I chose to study at Reading. My favourite memory is Saturday nights out with friends at the Student Union.

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