Leyla Page, BA Geography

BA Geography student Leyla Page used her GIS skills learnt through her degree to conduct market research for an emerging smartphone weather application company - Wezzoo.

How and why did you choose to work with the business?

"I was recruited through the LEC 301 Industry Dissertation Project to do my undergraduate dissertation with Wezzoo. I chose to do my dissertation working with a business because I had initially enrolled on a Joint Honours scheme, but had then opted to take French only as a minor. Doing this placement enabled me to use my language skills in more realistic business environment."

Had you worked with a business before starting your project with the company?

"Prior to the work placement I had been employed in more vocational positions, so having experience with a company that makes smartphone applications seemed like a sensible choice in terms of my future career prospects."

What problem did the organisation face? What did they ask you to do to help them?

"Wezzoo are a weather app company which provide real-time weather observations based on crowdsourced data and, as such, is reliant on strong user uptake. Wezzoo wanted to gather a greater understanding of its clientele through market research to understand their archetypal user."

What skills did you use and develop working with the company? 

"I used skills I had learnt through my degree, such as GIS and statistical cross-examination, to gather information about the people who use the app. I also sharpened my interview and questionnaire technique."

What did you do for the businesses?

"Using these skills, I was able to gather data, such as location, age, gender and their individual feedback on the app, meaning I could give the company a relatively detailed evaluation of their current users and therefore the market which they are currently appealing to, as well as those they had yet to penetrate."

Did you get paid for your work? 

"I didn’t have any travel expenses; after liaising with the company CEO, we decided that all my work could be done remotely and thus such expenditures would be redundant."

What was the best thing you think you did for the business?

"The best thing I did for the business was show them how they can use GIS to interpolate their data points, in addition to getting a much clearer, in-depth idea of their clientele through both qualitative and quantitative research.

"I helped the business in its global expansion mission by identifying their clientele. Using my report’s findings, the company can now not only grow their markets both numerically and spatially, but can also expand their product’s repertoire of services to provide a unique app with a real competitive edge."

What was the best thing about the project for you?

"The best thing about the project for me was gaining experience with a company and having the opportunity to use a range of competences, including GIS; statistical analysis; qualitative methods; and language skills.

"When doing this project, not only did I have the opportunity to gain experience with an international company in an emerging sector, but the multi-disciplinary nature of the methodology for my dissertation shows a wide range of geographical and Benchmark Key Skills that will greatly enhance my CV. Also, working with a French company meant I was able to practice my linguistic skills by attempting to take all correspondence in French."

What’s it’s like studying at Lancaster University?

"Studying Geography at Lancaster puts students at a significant advantage as they can make use of the wide range of specialist staff within the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC). This enables students to cover a broad spectrum of themes throughout their studies, and gives them immediate access to staff who are specialists in a whole suite of disciplines. When it comes to preparing and crafting your dissertation, this is invaluable."

Would you recommend your course to prospective students? If so, why?

"Absolutely! The third year is a definite highlight as the choice of specialist modules allows you to choose the specific fields you are most interested in. The field trips are also not to be missed!"