The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentPostgraduate study

Kate Godsmark MSc Integrated Environmental Studies, 2016

Graduate Environmental Consultant, WSP

Kate Godsmark's Photo

The structure of the course lends itself to engaging with external organisations. In several modules we were given the opportunity to work for Southampton Airport, giving us hands on experience with clients and meeting real world deadlines. In many respects this helped steer me towards a career in consultancy.

What made you choose Southampton?

The reputation of the University of Southampton and the course. The structure of and flexibility within the MSc Integrated Environmental Studies course enables the student to tailor the course to their specific interests.

What were your Southampton ‘highlights’?

One of the highlights of Southampton was the people I met through my course. Being like-minded meant that we quickly formed great friendships. We took numerous trips down to the New Forest together, and further afield along the Jurassic coast.

What other activities did you take advantage of while at University?

I joined the University of Southampton Rifle Club .The sessions were run every weekend with members of the club there to coach you, which was actually very beneficial since I’d never picked up a rifle before!

Did you have any exposure to employer involvement or research-led learning during your course? Did this help you join your chosen field or industry?  If so, how?

The structure of the Masters lends itself to engaging with external organisations.  In several modules we were given the opportunity to work for Southampton Airport, giving us hands on experience with clients and meeting real world deadlines. In many respects this helped steer me towards a career in consultancy.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The most appealing aspect of the Integrated Environmental Studies course is the flexibility and breadth of modules you are able to choose from. This provides you with a wide ranging skill set leading to possible roles within the environmental sector.

What networking, employment and work experience opportunities did you undertake and did they enhance your Southampton experience?

As well as the university-wide Career Fairs, the department organised networking evenings with industry professionals. This was invaluable for not only networking, but gaining an insight into what specific roles involved on a daily basis, which, is quite hard to gauge from a job specification or the internet!

Specific modules also provided networking opportunities via the inclusion of guest lecturers within the course syllabus. It was sometimes the case that internal vacancies or work experience opportunities were highlighted in these sessions.

What have been the highlights of your career to date?

I have only been working at WSP for just over seven months now. However, I’ve already had the opportunity to work on a variety of urban-residential, rail and high profile road infrastructure schemes.  The work is really varied, and no two projects are the same.

How did your time at Southampton help you to grow as a person and help you get to where you are now?

Studying at Southampton enabled me to broaden my knowledge base and tailor my skills towards Environmental Consultancy. The course provided a variety of subject areas that developed skills that go hand in hand with a consultancy role. It’s quite common for entry-level Consultancy roles to require a masters, and so this was really a major stepping stone in landing a job in the environmental field.

What advice would you give to a student starting their degree at Southampton?

Probably the single most important thing is to network and make the most of any opportunities that come your way.

What tips would you give to current students looking to start a career in your sector? What could they be doing now to make themselves more employable when they graduate?

Look into the chartership process and join an Institute relevant to your field. Often these institutes hold informal social events, so it’s a good opportunity to network and meet with industry professionals. 

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