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Alistair Barrett (BSc Physical Geography 2012)


I am a competitive and self motivated individual that likes to succeed but I also value relaxation and enjoyment of life very highly. I studied physical geography at the university not knowing what career path I wanted to follow but knowing that I enjoyed the subject. At my time at the university I learned more about my subject as well as the options I had to apply my new knowledge when I left and now I work for a firm of surveyors in a role where I can work hard as well as have fun.

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

It is a prestigious and internationally recognised university which has both an attractive campus and a thriving town centre nearby.

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

The social life. Meeting people from your course, clubs, nights out and even the staff made for an interesting 3 years.

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

Be sure you do work hard and get the grades but always leave plenty of time to enjoy yourself.

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

After graduation in 2012 I have become employed as a junior surveyor for a surveying company that specialises in a variety of niche areas. My role specialises in accurately calculating the areas of office, retail and industrial units using a range of different technologies.

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

If you don't have a relevant degree and wish to be a surveyor don't despair. Although it is easier to get a job with a relevant degree and will speed up the process of becoming a member of RICS, there are still jobs out there for you. But if you are still unfortunate it be worth considering a masters degree.

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

The careers centre helped me specifically by helping to compose a CV which is targeted correctly and contains useful information.

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

My top tip is to look for jobs. Not necessarily apply for them but to get an idea of what you want and can do before you leave as finding that out can be a challenge in itself.

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

The university means a lot to me as it provided me with a fantastic three years of education but it has also provided the means to continue have a good time for the rest of my career and hopefully life. It is hard to single out just one favourite memory, trying not to sound too clichéd, as I enjoyed the vast majority of my time there. Strangely, even the exam period I look back on with nostalgia.


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