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Portrait of Jack Sherlock, environmental management student at the University of Reading

A passion for our environment

Jack’s passion for managing our increasingly complex and fragile environment, and the prospect of being able to make a difference via his career, is what drew him to the University of Reading.

“I was attracted to environmental management at Reading because it covers a wide range of areas that I was interested in learning more about – including business sustainability, agriculture and world-wide issues – to give me an excellent start to my career in the environment and sustainability sector.

Reading’s School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, where the course is based, is also renowned, so I knew it was a good choice.”

Jack is enjoying all elements of his course so far.

“The compulsory modules are well designed to give an all-round understanding of environmental management and sustainability issues – locally and globally – as well as key skills and practical knowledge to help address them.

We also go on plenty of field trips to see environmental management in real-world settings. I’ve particularly enjoyed trips to the Environment Agency, the New Forest and the University’s farms.”

Tailor-made degree

“A major highlight of the course for me has been the ability to choose optional modules and tailor choices to my personal ambitions.

I’ve particularly enjoyed learning how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for example, and have chosen to study modules that build my ecology and landscape conservation skills.

The knowledge and skills developed map directly to career paths I’m interested in, such as environmental consultancy, which is really useful.”

As someone who thrives when being immersed in the natural environment, the space offered at Reading is also an intrinsic part of the experience for Jack.

“Being able to study environmental management at a university with such a great campus is the best part. We have so much greenspace and nature on the doorstep, for me it is more than just a place to go for lectures.”

Portfolio of skills and experience

Jack is excited about the prospect of working in the environment sector and contributing to valuable work to sustainably manage our planet’s resources.

He is taking every opportunity that comes his way to develop a broad portfolio of skills and experience.

“I’ve benefited from the careers teaching on the course, helping me to think about career options available and helping with my CV and interview skills.

I’m also making the most of the opportunities available at Reading. I am undertaking an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) project this summer, working with researchers here at Reading on developing sustainable cultivation practices in horticulture research.

I’m excited to be starting a placement year as part of my degree later this summer, where I’ll be working as an Educational Ranger with a county council.”

Additionally, Jack has put his people skills into practice and derived much satisfaction from being a volunteer mentor while at Reading.

“I volunteered as a STaR (Student Transition at Reading) mentor in my second year. First year students are assigned a STaR mentor who they can contact for help with the initial move to university.

I had a great experience helping settle any queries the new students had and taking them for a tour of campus.”

Competing for Reading

Jack’s favourite elements of student life include the easily accessible town centre and the variety of extracurricular opportunities to choose from.

“I think Reading is a good destination for student living - the town has the right balance between being large enough to have lots going on, but it’s not so big that everything is too far apart.

Having enjoyed being a cycling club member during first year, in second year I joined the Athletics Society which was one of the best choices I made. I made so many great friends there and pushed myself to do things I didn’t think I would before going to uni, such as completing the Reading Half Marathon.

Representing Reading at cross country races in London, including in Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath, were very proud moments too. Making it onto the University Challenge team in first year was also fun and quite an achievement for me (despite not making it on TV in the end!).”

Learn more about BSc Environmental Management and Sustainability with Placement Year

Read about life as an undergraduate in the Department of Sustainable Land Management