Carrie Potter – BSc (Hons) Geology with Ocean Science graduate

Year of graduation: 2016

Current Employer: United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

Current Job Title: Hydrographic Data Technician

Current Location: Taunton

“Through the STEM careers fair hosted by the University I found my dream career.”

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

Since June, I have been working full-time at the Hydrographic Office creating electronic navigational charts for mariners across the world. I applied as part of an internship with the company, but after six months I gained a permanent contract to work there.

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

Large compilation tasks are challenging and exciting, such as spending a few days capturing a harbour at an international port. These test my GIS skills and the skills learnt on the job to create ‘the best view of the world.’ It seems an achievement creating something of such importance, and knowing that the product will be used by shipping companies and people to navigate their way around the world.  

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? With hindsight how significant was this for you?

The course was the only one that had combined Geology and Ocean Science modules, which was the main route I wanted to go down. The course also opened up a lot of options for me after graduation, with multiple career paths and options for postgraduate study, which was good for me as I didn’t know for certain what I planned to do after university.

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the university how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

The services at Plymouth were amazing for studying, such as access to the 24 hour computer suites and library services which were great for when assessments piled up. The Careers and Employability service really helped me to hone my CV for job applications, as well as helping me through the various interview and assessment techniques employees use. I also used the Students’ Union advice centre when some issues arose at the start of my third year, and they were incredibly helpful to turn to when lecturers were away for the summer.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?

Through the STEM careers fair hosted by the University I found my dream career: a career I never would have realised was available to me without having first been introduced to it at the fair. Not only that, but the University services and lecturers guided me through any confusing or scary stages of the application, as well as supporting me thoroughly throughout the degree.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth?

There are too many to name! I really enjoyed some of the assignments we were set, as well as the fieldtrips with both the Geology and Ocean Science teams. Certainly meeting my friends on the course, and knowing that they’ll be friends for life thanks to the degree.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?

The degree gave me both the technical skills for my career, as well as supporting me through the other issues that come with graduating and the stressful experience of applying for jobs. Both the lecturers and the support services were constantly there to give advice on any issues I faced, and always helped me through issues. I don’t know what I would have done without them!

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?

The atmosphere of having a large university in an easily navigable campus gives the whole site a friendly feeling, and you really feel like you’re part of a community both on campus and in town. Plymouth is a beautiful city, with both urban influences and gorgeous scenery in which to spend your weekends! The courses are well-tailored to what you want to do, with lots of choice and help throughout, with challenging and engaging pieces of work that really show off your knowledge and skills.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about our range of courses within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni are currently doing, please visit the marine, earth, geography and environment interest area.