Kiri Huddleston

Brilliant new experiences

Since graduating in 2014, Kiri Huddleston has been travelling in South America with her friend Nancy Baines, who she met during her studies at Lancaster. “At this very moment I am writing from the Galapagos Islands,” she says. “We decided to travel after university as we needed a bit of time off after all the hard work! I also just wanted to get out and see the world – South America has a lot of incredible places to visit.”

Kiri feels that the skills that she has gained during her studies are invaluable to her time spent travelling, and will prove useful when applying for jobs. “My time at Lancaster has above all else given me more confidence, which I think is the best preparation for post-university life I could have asked for,” she says. “I even completed a Masters degree, which I never saw myself doing before! Undertaking the Lancaster Award has also really prepared me for job applications and interviews as it teaches you to recognise the new skills you have acquired, gives you the opportunity to gain work experience and shows you how to express yourself to potential employers – I would definitely recommend doing it. I also learnt that you should never be afraid to ask for help.”

A fantastic degree

Initially attracted to Lancaster due to the fascinating content of our Environmental Science course, Kiri was also impressed with the friendly, community atmosphere that she encountered when visiting the University for an Open Day. “I chose Lancaster because the course sounded the best,” she says. “Initially I was really interested in volcanoes and earthquakes, but also wanted to learn more about how the world works in general, so the course fitted really well. Although this course did have the most compulsory modules, meaning I couldn’t choose as many as I would have liked, it did have the most field trips which was a real bonus for me as I love being able to put things I learn into practice. Also, Lancaster was so welcoming and friendly, and the Open Day provided me with loads of useful information.”

Kiri has found the fieldwork that she has undertaken within LEC to be the highlight of her degree, relishing the opportunity to visit a wide range of beautiful locations. “My favourite part of the degree was the big field trips - they involved a lot of work but they were also so much fun,” she says. “The trip to Carrock Fell at the beginning of second year was great because the whole course really got to bond and meet each other properly for the first time. It was the wettest year on record and we were still out working in it – although they were tough conditions, it was such an experience. We all think of it as a highlight now! Watching the sunset in Mull, and chatting around a fire after visiting Staffa won’t be forgotten in a hurry. The trip to Etna in third year was also amazing.”

Making friends

Although Kiri greatly enjoyed undertaking fieldwork and studying the fascinating content of her course, she fondly remembers the social aspects of her time studying at Lancaster. “As much as I enjoyed the learning, I really loved hanging out with friends,” she says. “I have so many funny memories of things we did like nights out, trips to Windermere, barbecues, trips to places nearby, Ashton Memorial, fireworks, the canal, playing in a band etc. There were many days of stressing over deadlines and exams, but these are the things I remember looking back. I really felt part of the Lancaster community.”