Michael Johnson

Geography and Tourism Management

Michael Johnson

I chose the course at Oxford Brookes for its diverse inclusion of social sciences; the fact you could do anthropology, archaeology, human geography, or more scientific studies and tailor your degree as you gain new interests

I first came across eco-tourism during both my Geography A-level and my gap year working as an outdoor activity instructor at an eco-centre. I was keen to combine my passion for Geography and interest in the tourism sector.

I chose the course at Oxford Brookes for its diverse inclusion of social sciences; the fact you could do anthropology, archaeology, human geography, or more scientific studies and tailor your degree as you gain new interests. I also really enjoyed the open day, seeing how everyone seemed to really care about my aspirations and wanted to help me get there.

Through the variety of modules my course helped me not only develop academic interests, such as archaeology, but also show where my talents and interests lie for a future career.

One module, called Geographic Enquiry and Field Research, requires a team project to be developed the whole way through, from initial research to data collection and from analyses of data to creating a management strategy. This provides a perfect example to employers looking for team work, management, data collection, field work, communication skills, organization skills and the ability to work independently. I also now have a wide knowledge base within the environmental sector which offers me the vital foundation needed to build my career on.

I recently came back from an archaeological excavation in the Wadi al Hasa in southern Jordan, excavating one of the world’s first villages, which is about 11,000 years old! This opportunity let me use some of the theoretical knowledge learnt at Brookes in a practical way and enabled me to see the reality of being an archaeologist. I was able to experience a completely different world and I met some amazing people.

Living in halls first year was great and living off campus, on Cowley Road, was fantastic. It’s such a vibrant and culturally diverse part of Oxford and all the students are there, so everyone and everything you need is within a 15 minute walk.

Extra help and support from lecturers really helped me with my studies, all the lecturers at Brookes are so passionate about the subjects they teach and they love to share it with others. Dr Sam Smith helped me a huge amount over my last 2 years, giving a massive amount of support for his modules and contributing towards projects for others.

I would like to further my studies in the next few years and I am currently working for The Conservation Volunteers, who are an environmental conservation non-profit organisation who reclaim green areas. I also volunteer with The Environment Investment Organisation as a Carbon Research Analyst. We work to attach a real value to emission transparency and reduction within corporate financial investment.