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People Like Me: Eric

Updated Tuesday 9th August 2005

Who studies science? We talk to students and graduates - and meet Eric

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Majorca Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

Name: Eric Weston
Studying: Geology, MSci Level 2.

Ultimate Ambition: To travel around Peru, I am interested in the ancient cities and exploring the world. I also wish to speak fluent Spanish and play the guitar.

Life at University
I love my current course; it is fascinating and challenging, but very broad and useful even if I do not become a geologist. I like the natural history aspects, the sort of thing that most people find interesting, only I go into a lot more detail. I am not too interested in palaeontology and prefer the physics and explaining the world around me.

How I got here
I am a mature student so my route into university is not a typical one. At the age of 17 I went straight into work as a door-to-door direct salesman – the hardest thing I’ve ever done. This was good because I had no choice but to become confident very quickly. I was promoted, but left in debt because the company went bankrupt! In the following years I took on many jobs including selling advertising space for playstation magazine. Enjoyed the steep learning curve and gained communication skills and administrative skills but I didn’t like the office environment and the job became boring. Other jobs include retail management, temp work, pub work (50% drop in pay). Then I decided to become a holiday rep. and worked in Majorca for three months. I hated this!

My dad was interested in geology, but it was only when I was in Majorca, seeing geology, and talking with lots of people, that I realised that I wanted to go to university and study geology. It was the only way to pursue a potentially very well payed and interesting job. I was always interested in science – I had in mind astrophysics or engineering – but I wanted a topic where you get out and about a lot, and have travel opportunities. At first I had a stereotypical view of geologists, but I now realise that earth science is not just about fossils and rocks, there is much more to it.

I returned from Majorca motivated and geared up to begin at University. So, at the age of 27 I took two ‘A’ levels in one year. Bristol was top of my list because I wanted to stay in the region for friends and support, and because it is one of best universities in the country, especially for geology.

Advice
If you are unhappy with a job and think you can do better with a degree, ring the universities you are interested in and talk to the admissions tutor. When I explained my situation, they were helpful and explained what were entry requirements. I found that after trying many many jobs, they were all too boring or not challenging enough. Without a degree – you don’t get a look in for the decent jobs, even if you think you could do it.

 

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