Kanishka Sharma

Geography BSc (Hons)

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  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Course studied: Geography BSc (Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year
  • Year of study: Year Four
  • Length of course: Four years
Why did you decide to study at the University of Northampton?

From the moment I stepped onto campus, I knew I’d found a university that aligned perfectly with my values and aspirations. One of the main reasons why I chose the University of Northampton is its strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. As an environmentalist and geographer, I was thrilled to discover that the University has been recognised as a leader in sustainable development and was awarded the prestigious ‘First Class’ sustainability ranking. This means that every aspect of campus life, from the curriculum to the facilities, is designed with environmental and social considerations in mind. Being part of a community that prioritises sustainability has not only enriched my education, but also given me the opportunity to actively contribute to creating a greener future.

Furthermore, the University’s focus on experiential learning has allowed me to apply my knowledge and skills in real-world contexts. Through fieldwork, research projects, and industry placements, I’ve gained invaluable practical experience that has greatly enhanced my understanding of the complexities of environmental issues.

The University of Northampton also offers a vibrant and inclusive campus life. The University organises numerous extracurricular activities, clubs, and societies that allow students to explore their interests and form lifelong friendships. Additionally, the campus itself is modern, well-equipped, and provides a conducive environment for learning and personal growth.

Finally, the University of Northampton has an excellent reputation for employability and graduate outcomes. The strong connections with industry partners, combined with the University’s focus on developing practical skills, have equipped me with the tools I need to succeed in my chosen field. The career support services have been instrumental in helping me navigate job opportunities and connect with potential employers.

What are your career goals/aspirations?

As an environmentalist, my ultimate career goal is to actively contribute towards creating a sustainable and resilient world. With a strong passion for environmental conservation and disaster management, I aspire to become a natural disaster officer, working at the forefront of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. I aim to utilise my expertise to develop and implement strategies that mitigate the impact of natural disasters on vulnerable communities and ecosystems. Also, as an aspiring oceanographer, my ambition is to delve into the depths of our oceans, unravelling their mysteries and understanding the intricate dynamics that influence marine life and ecosystems. By combining my knowledge of environmental science and disaster management, I strive to safeguard our precious oceans and promote sustainable practices that will ensure their preservation for future generations.

Ultimately, my career goals as an environmentalist, aspiring natural disaster officer and oceanographer revolve around making a tangible difference in the world. By combining my passion for environmental conservation, disaster risk reduction and ocean exploration, I aim to contribute to the protection and sustainable management of our planet’s precious resources. Through research, advocacy, and practical interventions, I aspire to create a more resilient and harmonious coexistence between humans and the environment, ensuring a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

How do you think your studies will help your career or personal development when you graduate?

I firmly believe that my studies will significantly contribute to both my career and personal development upon graduation. Acquiring a deep understanding of environmental science, disaster risk reduction and geography will equip me with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle complex environmental challenges. It will provide me with a strong foundation to navigate the intricacies of disaster response, resilience planning and marine conservation. Moreover, my studies will foster critical thinking, problem-solving and research skills, enabling me to make evidence-based decisions and drive positive change in my chosen fields.

Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of my studies will broaden my perspective and enhance my ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders, facilitating effective communication and teamwork. Overall, my studies will not only shape my career path, but also foster personal growth, empowering me to make a meaningful and lasting impact on environmental sustainability and resilience.

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained during your degree do you feel will be most useful in your future career?

During my degree, I’ve gained a wide range of skills and knowledge that I believe will be incredibly valuable in my future career as an environmentalist and geographer. The comprehensive understanding of environmental systems and processes, coupled with the ability to analyse and interpret spatial data, will enable me to assess and address complex environmental challenges with a holistic perspective.

Additionally, the practical experience I’ve gained through fieldwork and research projects has honed my problem-solving skills and provided me with hands-on experience in implementing sustainable solutions. Moreover, the emphasis on social responsibility and ethical practices has equipped me with the necessary tools to engage with communities and stakeholders, fostering collaborative approaches for creating meaningful change. Overall, the multidisciplinary approach of my degree has prepared me to tackle the multifaceted issues our planet faces, and I’m confident that these skills and knowledge will be instrumental in making a positive impact in my future career.

Do you do any extra-curricular activities at UON?

Yes, I’m currently a student voice rep for my course and have been for the past three years.

I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant on a bursary project with my supervisors (lecturers) as part of the (P)URBAN PROJECT, which focuses on a pedagogical approach to student learning. The focus of my project was to understand the Fieldwork experiences of Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) students.

Finally, I’ve worked with the Royal Geographical Society as a Geography Mentor at Northampton Academy – a news article has also been published regarding this role in the Northampton Chronicle & Echo newspaper. This job was recommended by my personal tutor at the University.

How do you think these extra-curricular activities will enhance your career prospects?

Engaging in extracurricular activities throughout my academic journey has significantly enhanced my career prospects and personal development. These activities, such as volunteering as student voice, participating in bursary projects, working with organisations, and attending conferences and workshops, have allowed me to expand my network, develop invaluable leadership skills, and gain practical experience outside the classroom. By actively involving myself in these initiatives, I’ve demonstrated my passion, dedication, and commitment to making a difference in the field of environmentalism and geography. These experiences have not only enriched my CV, but have also provided me with real-world insights, a broader perspective and the ability to adapt to diverse situations. Overall, my involvement in extracurricular activities has equipped me with a well-rounded skill set and a competitive edge, paving the way for a successful and impactful career.

What advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

Make the most of your time inside and outside of the classrooms and always ask for help when needed, because it will always be available to you.

In 10 words, or less how would you summarise your UON experience?

I couldn’t have chosen a better university experience than the one at UON.