Ryan Scott

Geography

Ryan Scott

I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of the course and a high level of debate and insight in IR seminars. The two field trips to the Czech Republic that I did as part of my Geography modules were excellent for developing my research and team management skills

After leaving school at 16 and pursuing a varied career in horticulture, the army, studying countryside management, working as a taxi driver and travelling in Asia, Ryan came to Oxford Brookes to study International Relations (IR) and Geography, with a strong focus on environmental issues.

I’d worked for nearly 10 years before undertaking my degree, but my course allowed me to take my life in a new direction. It made me believe I could do anything. It threw down the barriers I’d constructed.

The IR department has high standards in the philosophical aspect of its teaching while the geography aspect of my course had a more ‘on the ground’ focus which proved a good blend.

I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of the course and the high level of debate and insight in IR seminars. The two field trips to the Czech Republic that I did as part of my Geography modules were excellent for developing my research and team management skills.

The support facilities at Brookes are very good; I used the Careers Service on numerous occasions and was helped immensely by the Counselling Service while working through my dissertation. I also made good use of the IT and library services which were of great benefit.

After graduating I became an intern with the University’s Sustainability Team, which led on to a job as Marketing and Communications Officer in the team. In the two years I spent with the team I was responsible for putting on sustainability events, raising the profile of the University’s sustainability work (internally and externally) and helping to establish the University’s Corporate Responsibility Programme. I then worked as Sustainability Officer at Royal Holloway, University of London where I created and developed new ways of engaging staff and students with sustainability.

This linked well with my degree as I’d focused my module choices on environmental aspects as much as possible. It also allowed me to develop my skills in communicating sustainability as well as working with the leaders in the sustainability field in the HE sector. My international relations modules were good preparation for this role, which involved being at the forefront of the sustainability agenda in the HE sector, bringing me into contact with government officials, MPs and sustainability leaders.

Subsequently, I began to cast a ‘sustainability positive’ eye over everything I attended, from outdoor sport events (such as trail running events) to theatre trips, and found I was full of ideas to help these have a lower environmental impact while reducing costs at the same time. If I can help to create a more positive vision for a sustainable future through creative communications and marketing, my time spent at Oxford Brookes will have been more than well spent.

I liked the feel of Oxford… The wide variety of cultural events in the city offered inspiration for personal growth and development which proved complementary to studying. Oxford has a lot going on and is small enough to get to really know it. Its location is great for getting about the country too.