Alumni

Alumni profile - Katie Momber

The experience of studying in a new country was amazing, the friendships I made were particularly close, and Western Australia is breathtakingly beautiful; I don’t know that I would have had reason to go there if not for the exchange.

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What attracted you to the BA in Human Geography at Queen Mary?

I remember that the idea of being in London for my degree was particularly exciting, and Queen Mary’s Geography course looked extremely varied and interesting, with multiple field trips and a wide range of topics; but Queen Mary also offers a study abroad program, which was the deciding factor for me. I was able to still do a three-year degree but spend around five months in Western Australia in my second year.

What aspects of your degree did you find most enjoyable and was there anything that surprised you in your studies?

I loved how different all my courses were, from Health Geographies to Geographies of Nature, and Historical Geography, it really is a degree for people wanting to study everything. I was surprised about the range of projects my classmates had chosen for their dissertations; the course allows you to follow your specific interests.

Human Geography is really a degree about almost everything to do with people and the spaces they inhabit, and you will learn so much that you can apply to your everyday experience.

Can you describe your career path to date and your current role? What does a typical working day look like for you?

During the summer between my second and third year at Queen Mary, I was successful in getting a Q-Internship at the Charities Aid Foundation. The internship was only supposed to be for three months, but I ended up working there on and off from 2015 to 2020, for over three years in total. This was in various roles, and since graduating in 2016, I managed to spend some time travelling in Japan, and I also completed my MSc at UCL in Environment, Politics and Society. Fast-forward to 2020, and I started working at my current organisation, the Institution of Civil Engineers, as a Sustainability Specialist. In my role I work with members of the Institution on various sustainability programs, but also engage with international committees of engineers to share best practice and knowledge.

How did your time and study at Queen Mary help you decide the career path you wanted to pursue?

Such a varied degree taught me that I like learning many different things and enjoy switching things up quite a lot. My career so far hasn’t been focused in one skill or role, which has been brilliant as I am still working out which aspects of a job make me happiest.

What was special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments?

The friendships you make at university are particularly special, and in London there is a unique opportunity to experience some of the best events, festivals, exhibitions, and food. Joining the hockey team and going on tour to Turkey was brilliant, as was our Geography fieldtrip to Boston, USA.

Do you have a favourite spot on campus? If so, where is it and why?

I liked sitting by the canal, it was quite a calming place to revise for exams. There are a few nice places on campus to work or catch up with friends, including a cosy coffee shop.

You spent part of your degree on exchange at the University of Western Australia. How did this opportunity come about and how did you benefit from the experience?

It was part of the reason I chose to go to Queen Mary in the first place, so I enquired about the process as soon as I started university. To this day, I still think of my time at UWA as one of the best times of my life. The experience of studying in a new country was amazing, the friendships I made were particularly close, and Western Australia is breathtakingly beautiful; I don’t know that I would have had reason to go there if not for the exchange.

What are your hopes and plans for your future career?

I’d really like to continue learning more about sustainability and climate change adaptation/mitigation, and the civil engineering sector is a particularly excellent place to do this, seeing as construction makes up a large portion of carbon emissions. I’m keeping an open mind with my career at the moment, as I’ve found that it is quite hard to plan these things unless you have a set path.

Is there any advice you would give to prospective students who are interested in studying Human Geography?

Human Geography is really a degree about almost everything to do with people and the spaces they inhabit, and you will learn so much that you can apply to your everyday experience. By doing this degree you will also be able to shape your learning experience to your interests.

This profile was conducted by Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Nathalie Grey. If you would like to get in touch with Katie or engage her in your work, please contact Nathalie at n.grey@qmul.ac.uk.