Jonathan Hall - BSc (Hons) Geography graduate

Current employer: Titan Environmental Surveys Ltd

Current job title: Marine Surveyor

Current location: Cardiff

“My favourite memory at Plymouth was the final year trip to Portugal where I mapped the regeneration of Carrapateira Beach, a large protected dune field in the Algarve.”

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

After completing my studies I returned to Titan Environmental Surveys Ltd as a Marine Surveyor – I had worked there for a year as Student Surveyor in 2014/15. Since joining the company, I have been involved in a variety of bathymetric and geophysical survey projects around the UK and Europe.

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

In the summer of 2016 I was involved in the NEMO Cable Route Project which will connect the UK and Belgian’s electricity systems via subsea cables, allowing the two countries to trade electricity with one another. My role was to work in a team of surveyors on board one of Titan’s vessels conducting a near shore unexploded ordnance survey at both ends of the cable route in Ramsgate (UK) and Blankenberge (Belgium).

What would you do differently since graduating?

Having previous experience of working with Titan I knew that I enjoyed the job role and the social dynamics of the company. Knowing this, and that I would get opportunities to travel with work, I decided to start working for them straight after graduating. If there was not the opportunity to travel I would have probably hoped to see some more of the world before entering the world of full-time work.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

Rather than seeing some assignments as work or a chore, have a more positive outlook on them knowing that they are enabling me to learn and to develop skills that will be useful to me in the future.

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

One of the main reasons I chose the course at Plymouth was that it offered a work placement year. It also offered a larger selection of coastal and GIS based modules than a lot of other universities in the same or similar course. Plymouth’s location being so close to the coast and national parks also helped sway my decision.

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 careers and employability service at Plymouth is outstanding. The staff helped me to decide which career would be best suited to what I enjoyed and what I was good at. I also took a 10 credit module on employability which helped to develop my CV and interviewing skills.

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

When I was younger I originally wanted to work within banking or finance as I enjoy maths (and of course the pay cheques within that sector). Whilst studying at Plymouth I came to the realisation that work should not just be something you do for money, but something you enjoy as well. Along with maths, I have a great love of the outdoors as well as computers, so I am lucky enough to use all three of these within my current job at Titan thanks to Plymouth University.

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

My favourite memory at Plymouth was the final year trip to Portugal where I mapped the regeneration of Carrapateira Beach, a large protected dune field in the Algarve.

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

Plymouth University have provided me with a strong skill set which I will be able to apply to any short or long term career plan in the future. These have come from the wide variety of modules available on my course, placement year opportunity, and the chance to develop my office and field based skills on numerous projects whilst working under pressure.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?

The course I took at Plymouth University not only enabled me to learn a lot of skills from various experiences throughout my four years, but it also showed me what I am good at and what I enjoy most which is critical in deciding a career path.

If you did a placement how did this impact on your short and long term career plans?

Taking a placement year benefited me in a number of ways. It gave me industry experience in a professional environment and confirmed the career path I wanted to pursue post-graduation. On my return to Plymouth for my final year, the placement year itself helped aid my studies in a number of ways, from time management to mass data management in my dissertation. I cannot recommend an industrial placement year enough.