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Not wasting any time: Two University of Northampton graduates land jobs at the Environment Agency

Date 23.09.2016

Two recent graduates from the University of Northampton are on their way to great careers by landing jobs at the Environment Agency based in Kettering.

Samantha Sweeney graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biology in 2015 and since starting her job as an Environment Officer; she has been involved with local green projects and has been working hard to reduce negative effects to the surrounding environment. Samantha has found it to be a varied role and her responsibilities so far have included permitting sites, auditing sites and incident management.

During her time at the University of Northampton, Samantha was the President of the Environmental Society, a science ambassador on behalf of Northampton and led a project with Anglian Water. It’s this experience and skills she obtained during her three-year degree that has allowed her to kick-start her career so soon after graduation.

Samantha explained: “Getting my degree in Biology meant that I had the skills I needed for my job. The hands-on approach to the course meant that I could gain the confidence I needed to pursue this career and feel able to excel in the role.

“I’d say that all of the skills I learned during my degree are invaluable. The experience gained from being President of the Environmental Society and being involved in the Anglian Water project meant that I had the contacts and professional experience needed.

“At the University of Northampton, all of my tutors were amazing and their support in applying for jobs and making sure I got the best opportunities that they could offer really helped me to build my confidence. I can’t stress enough how important it is for students to take opportunities whilst at university.

“The last three years have been the best of my life, and I’m really grateful to have acquired the skills that have put me on the path to receiving my dream job.”

Kate Howe started her job as an Environmental Officer (Wastes) just a few weeks before graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science (Wastes) in July 2016. Her key responsibilities are regulating waste sites and ensuring that sites comply with their environmental permits, as well as dealing with emergency incidents.

Her time at University gave her a good footing for a career as she was involved in helping research a new product for a solar company, as well as taking on a work experience placement at a waste company.

Kate said: “Putting the effort in to find work experience really made a difference. I feel it definitely gave me a competitive edge when applying for jobs and gave me plenty to talk about in interviews.

“As I have a specialised degree in a subject that is related to my line of work, my new colleagues were under the impression that I had a Master’s and quite a lot of experience under my belt. I’m grateful for the fantastic support from my lecturers at the University of Northampton because they have an open door policy, allowing me to ask as many questions as I needed, either in person, via email or on the phone. They also have good connections and contacts for volunteering and even future job roles.

“I would like to eventually go back to Higher Education and complete a PhD but for now I am planning to progress internally through the Environment Agency.”