Ph.D student — Jenni

Back to Careers in Geography

Only three kids from my school went to university. I deferred for a year and then enrolled in Geography, along with Psychology and Politics.

I guess I liked it—I liked the lecturers and the field trips. By the end of second year, I was hooked. Geography helped me gain independence, make friendships with people with similar interests; and the interactive style of the coursework, field trips, research and social-scientific study helped. Besides, I had the feeling of being able to make a difference to the world’s ecological needs.

I worked really hard in third year, and was able to do an Honours year. This eventually led me towards my current Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in Geography.

For my Ph.D, I am studying the sediment in the Lower Murray Basin to see how the Murray has changed over the years—over one thousand years! It’s a combination of geography and palaeontology (study of life in the geological past).

I also went on a nine-month assignment in London during my Ph.D. I found out about this job by word-of-mouth. Someone knew of my studies and of the opportunity in London, and mentioned it to me. It was fantastic to work with some of the world’s leading ecologists at the ECRC. It gave me great contacts and experience, and I came home really ‘fired up’. And I was paid to do it!

I’d say if you like Geography now, ‘Take the plunge—do it!’ And make a positive contribution to the world.