Ahmad Zaki Yahya

Geography BSc (Hons)

View the course
  • Current job title: GIS Technician
  • Current employer: Buchanan Computing
  • Industry sector: Mapping

I chose this course at the University of Northampton as, prior to enrolling, I was employed elsewhere but wanted to pursue something new to add further options to potential career choices. I always had an interest in geography – it was my favourite subject in school and at A level, so I made the decision to apply to universities that offered it as a course. The University of Northampton were kind enough to consider and accept my application, which left me feeling ecstatic and very eager to start. The idea of moving away, living on my own and becoming independent, was also very enticing.

It’s hard to lean towards something specific, but the aspect of the course I enjoyed the most was the freedom that was given to us with regards to how work and assignments were handled and it was great to be given a variety of module options to choose from. The geography department and lecturers were very welcoming and helpful throughout the entire course. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, certain modules and activities had to be either cancelled or postponed, but the University and the geography department worked hard through this and I greatly appreciated them for that.

As an extra-curricular activity whilst I was studying at UON, I was a member of the Esports Society and I feel I’ll be able to use examples from there to highlight certain traits that employers seek, such as teamwork or leadership skills.

I think my time studying geography will really help my career development and it’s also helped me grow as a person, thus assisting my personal development. It’s also enabled me to build up my confidence and self-esteem and allowed me to experience what it’s like to have an individual lifestyle. It’s definitely helped to prepare me for the real world, including with interviews and professional careers.

Right now, I’m enjoying my current job – it’s specifically to do with mapping software for UK counties and councils and I’ve taken on many internal projects. In the near future, I plan to apply to a teaching role in Japan as well. As far as my future career progression goes, I’m confident I’ll be able to handle anything I come across.

The skills and knowledge gained on my degree that have been most useful in my job have come from the modules to do with mapping – these have been integral for my current role. My mentality in general has also greatly improved and this has helped me in more places than just my career.

The advice I would give to undergraduates interested in this career path would be to have an open mindset and don’t be afraid to question things. My University of Northampton experience helped renew my outlook and I look forward to the future.