Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

Liliana Smith

What I’ve found

We talked to Liliana Smith who is studying Geology BSc(Hons) to hear about her experience of uni so far..

“I just like how friendly everyone is, it’s so rare that you go somewhere and everyone is friendly. No matter who you end up talking to, whether they’re on your course, a lecturer, an academic or staff from elsewhere, people out in the city… everyone wants you to well and is really supportive. It’s not a specific Brighton Uni thing, it’s a Brighton thing. 

Uni is more about independence and doing it yourself. I think I’ve become more confident, more independent – everyone says that, but you definitely do notice it. I was quite nervous, but now I’ll just come and talk to anyone. 

You learn through practicing. My course is really applied, so we go on lots of field trips, and that’s what I really enjoy. I’m not the best person in exams, but because it’s so applied, literally we get out into the field and we go and examine rocks to understand what’s going on. Then we’re assessed on what we’ve learned in the field and the notebook we’ve produced. I really like that approach, it makes certain that you know what’s happening rather than it just being shown to you in a lecture.  

Practical experience helps with employability. You feel more confident with what you’ve learned when you can actually see it and identify it. That’s what a lot of the jobs will involve and once you know you can do it as a student, you’re confident that you’ll be able to do it in a working environment. 

We also have a module called Professional Practice where you’re given an issue that you would have in the workplace and you spend a week working in teams to solve the issue – you’re focused on employability skills. Another module is about interviews, CVs and applying for jobs – you practice being interviewed by your peers and you interview them. 

 The lecturers are skilled practitioners and researchers. When they are lecturing, if they give an example, they’ll give you something that they’ve worked on and it makes it feel so much more relevant than if it was just out of a textbook. It makes you enthusiastic about it and want to know more, you’re like, “That’s what I could be doing!”  

Societies are a good way to meet people. I’m a member of the Mantel Society, which is the Geology Society. We meet every two weeks and have a catch-up, it’s a good way to get to know people in the other years. It’s nice to get to know them, give them advice and hear things from their perspective. 

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Laura Ruby • May 15, 2020

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