Bonia Leung – BSc (Hon) Environmental Science graduate

Current employer: AECOM

Current job title: Assistant Project Coordinator

Current location: Hong Kong

“Being an international student, studying in a foreign country and feeling homesick, could be tough at times; but knowing that I had my course mates and friends supporting me, made studying at Plymouth University one of the best things to have happened in my life.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I was struggling to find a position in the environmental field in the UK, so I decided to go home (Hong Kong) to find a job there. Initially, I was working different part-time jobs as it took me a while to hear back from a lot of the companies I applied at. Just before I wanted to give up on entering the environmental industry in Hong Kong, AECOM offered me a position to work in one of the most exciting environmental infrastructures in Hong Kong. Since then, I have also started my part-time degree in MSc Environmental Engineering and Management at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

I am working on a project to build the first anaerobic digestion plant in Hong Kong, which is going to reduce the pressure on landfill created by food waste and also generate electricity.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Get experience in the environmental industry while you are at university; whether this is through internships, volunteering, or part-time jobs.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

The extra-curricular activities I participated in at Plymouth helped me to acquire plenty of transferable skills which have been very useful to prove to potential employers that I am capable of working the jobs advertised.

Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?

Yes. I did a summer placement at a local charity in London to study air pollution and the impacts on pupils’ health. It was part of my enterprise project in my final year. It was a very rewarding experience; not only did I learn about the science of air pollution, but my communication skills were immensely improved. I was talking to different stakeholders, such as teachers, parents, pupils, politicians, and school governors, in order to introduce them to the project I was working on and the interpretation of the data we collected.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

There were so many great memories; for instance, when we went out to celebrate as a course after everyone handed in their dissertation! Although we stayed in the same cohort for three years, some people came and went. Those who were there since the beginning were some of my best companions along the way. Knowing that it was the last time I might see some of my best friends on the course was emotional yet very heart warming. Being an international student, studying in a foreign country and feeling homesick, could be tough at times; but knowing that I had my course mates and friends supporting me, made studying at Plymouth University one of the best things to have happened in my life.

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?

Yes, I try my best to stay in touch with my friends who studied at Plymouth. Not just my course mates, but also friends I knew from different clubs and societies. However, I am in Hong Kong now, and the time difference has made talking to everyone very challenging.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

100 per cent yes! The location of Plymouth is great! One of the nicest beaches in the South West is only half an hour drive away. Everything is cheap in Plymouth. which is very beneficial to student finance. Most important of all, Plymouth is such a friendly university: there is no problem for one to find a life-long friend at Plymouth.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

I loved working as a student ambassador at open days and applicant days: the campus became such a vibrant place. I remember there was this family which came to an applicant day and came to say hello to me whilst I was delivering a campus tour to a group of visitors. They told me that because I had given a really good campus tour at their first visit, the daughter had decided to put Plymouth as one of her top choices. At that instant, I felt like I had been able to change lives and I was very proud that I was a part of Plymouth University.