Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

View of people on Brighton beach with the pier in the background

A BA Geographer’s summer, 2022

My summer began with a job hunt. National contexts that affected everyone, not least students in, meant that travelling, seeing the world, all that studenty dreamy stuff was put on hold for a summer (or 3).

First, my CV. I had little experience in retail, only teaching really, which as it goes isn’t actually that helpful in the summer. Therefore, I felt that my CV had to really stand out. Using workshops and careers advice given to us at the University of Brighton, I managed to do just that and snagged a job at Brighton Palace Pier working as an Arcade Engineer.

I managed to sell myself in interview as someone who could communicate well with people – whether in a team or one on one. I also talked about my work ethic and punctuality, things enhanced by my university experience so far.

Starting the job, I was a bit apprehensive as to what it was I was walking into. Admittedly, I don’t think I appreciated the scale of Brighton Pier as a business until I’d witnessed and undertaken the day-to-day operations that keep the pier above water. Mind you, as long as it doesn’t look like the one next to it, I think it’ll do alright.

As the summer began to kick in, I was inundated with tourists every day but it was a pleasure to work on the pier. I described my job to friends as ‘helping people have a half-decent time on the pier, fixing, or at least trying to fix, arcade machines and serving them overpriced toot from the shop’. When reality kicked in, my job was me working Monday-Friday every week in an attempt to stash some money away so I could throw everything at my 3rd Year. I do not regret my decision.

When thinking of highlights of the summer, working in that stuffy arcade during the heatwave somehow escaped me? Instead, I’m drawn upon days off – the feeling of working hard for a reward and managing to enjoy Brighton and time with people I care about when I could. But needs must (£).

Man teaching a small group of studentsGoing forward, my aim is to teach Geography. Whilst there is no real direct link between fixing the odd arcade machine and keeping the place clean, I do feel that this job and my university experience has, and is, preparing me for that. I work on communication, teamwork, and the ability to just… work! Most of all, the University of Brighton is actually educating me on geographical things. Which I reckon might come in pretty handy when I come to teach it. Not only this, but the University builds confidence, provides career support, has direct links to Get Into Teaching (my route into the career) with open events being held at the Falmer Campus. Furthermore, Alumni stay in contact with lecturers from the University, and so careers advice was especially accessible through the L5 Professional Practice module in particular.

Ben is studying on our Geography BA(Hons) course.

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Ben Spooner • November 7, 2022


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