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Geography and Environmental Science

Ali Edmonds BA Geography, 2013

Graduate Scheme at Aldi

Ali Edmonds's Photo

Hi, I'm Ali Edmonds and I studied BA Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

The Geography department and combined Oceanography department were very strong, particularly in terms of research, which I thought would give me a fantastic platform for my academia alongside the opportunity to become involved in extracurricular activities.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

I studied here because the facilities were great, the sport was excellent and the opportunities to be involved in extracurricular societies were fantastic. The Geography department and combined Oceanography department were very strong, particularly in terms of research, which I thought would give me a fantastic platform for my academia alongside the opportunity to become involved in extracurricular activities. I’ve had a fantastic three years being involved in all parts of the University of Southampton.

Have you been involved in any field trips?

I’ve been involved with three field trips with Geography one in each year; first year we went to the Isle of Wight; second year I went to Amsterdam for a week which was fantastic we got an opportunity to survey the city in terms of the urban landscape and how populations interacted with the various legal aspects which were involved, particularly focussing on the smoking ban; and third year we went to Berlin which was excellent and we looked at a variety of aspects from kind of the architectural side of the city to the political aspects and controversies that were involved and also the recent economic development of the city of Berlin in terms of it being a European power.

Were there any other clubs and societies that you were involved in?

I’ve been involved in various societies and extracurricular activities. I played first team cricket for the University for three years, I was president of the Geography Society with 650 members at one point, arranging a Christmas Ball at the Rose Bowl for 300 people, a Summer Ball and sporting teams. In my final year I was involved with Enactus or Sife in Southampton, leading a consultancy team of six people on two projects worth £20,000 which was able to be put forward to the social projects which are run in developing countries and in that, we were the national champions for the third year running and are off to the world cups.


What are your plans for the future?


My plans for the future are very simple, because I have got a Graduate job and started last Monday. I’m based in the Midlands, currently in Atherstone, just East of Birmingham, but I’m moving to Nottingham-Mansfield area for the rest of the year. It’s with the supermarket Aldi in an initial one year Graduate scheme training to be an area manager which I become at the end of the year. In this role I’ll take responsibility for four to six stores in the area, and in terms of meeting sales, KPIs, and hopefully growing a really successful business. It’s hard work, but I’m really enjoying it and a lot of what got me into that was through my Geography degree in terms of multinational organisations, but more importantly, a specific retail business and consumption module that I undertook about supermarkets and understanding the supply chain and what made them such a dynamic and interesting industry to be involved in.

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