University of Reading, Physical Geography Personal Statement

Physical Geography , University of Reading

Geography has always fascinated me; travelling the world and living abroad has inspired questions and demanded understanding. I find that every time a Geographical phenomenon is explained, it always leads to a yet more challenging question to explore. It has opened my eyes to a completely different world: what used to just be a pointy mountain is now a pyramidal peak formed by glacial erosion. Cold Environments has been my favourite topic having never studied it before, and I am really enjoying studying natural hazards in my A2 course, such as comparing the recent 8.3 Chile earthquake with the 7.8 Nepal earthquake and how preparation and physical Geography of an area can affect the death toll. I think my Science A-Levels and engineering work experience will be complementary to studying Physical Geography and a possible future career in the field of managing natural hazards and early warning systems. I have travelled and lived abroad for the majority of my life, which has immersed me into different environments and cultures and has embedded my fascination for Geography. At MSJ I am running a Geography Society which is available from Year 5 to Upper Sixth; this requires good planning for the upcoming week and thinking of new ideas that will spark the interest of the younger students in discussion, as well as time managing the club. I have an academic scholarship at my school; this requires me to be very hard working and always keep on top of my work.

I am also studying Physics and Chemistry as my other A-Levels and Mathematics AS.  All three of these subjects include lots of problem solving skills and I enjoy facing the challenge. Statistics also helps with my ability to perform data manipulation, such as a Spearman Rank Correlation. Assessed investigation work in Science has helped me with precision when carrying out fieldwork for Geography; I am able to organise myself well when planning and performing practicals and am capable of modifying the initial idea/plan if problems arise. I have developed a methodical approach to situations and have perfected my ability to record data and make a detailed analysis and evaluation. My EPQ project on the development of the Arabic language; has enabled me to be extremely committed to applying my time to one specific task and has also greatly strengthened my research skills. EPQ has also improved my writing and presenting skills, despite already being a confident speaker. I was awarded the AS Geography prize for my year and was delighted with achieving 140/140 UMS in my Unit 1 Geography AS exam.

I believe myself to be a mature and responsible person. In the light of this, I was appointed the role of Prep Prefect which requires communication and social skills, and a positive pro-social attitude. It has also given me the responsibility of being a good role model to the younger girls. I must ensure fairness when running activities, consider health and safety and maintain good organisation. I also plan, run and attend Prep events as well as helping to organise my school sports tour which required meetings where I was ambassador for my year group; my role included liaising with an external tour advisor to make key decisions. I took part in a week of engineering work experience where I was involved with a project developing a specific turbine component from design to manufacturing. This further improved my organisation as well as gaining an awareness of health and safety after dealing with large, hazardous machinery. This benefits me in everyday life as well as during fieldwork. I have also strengthened my communication skills by working for a total of 4 weeks in the catering business. For 7 years I have been playing netball and lacrosse for my school and also county level: both of these have taught teamwork skills, relying on others and also having people rely on me. I also completed my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.  I am greatly looking forward to furthering my Geographical knowledge.