Lancaster Alumni Keep it Local

Lancaster alumni working at Lancaster City Council
A selection of Lancaster alumni at Lancaster City Council

Many alumni hate the thought of leaving Lancaster after graduation, but some stay or return to the area and work for one of the larger local employers at Lancaster City Council. Here 15 of them (and there are more!) explain how their LU studies have contributed to their work at the local authority:

Daniel Bates

BSc (Hons) Economics 1992 - Pendle

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Director of Corporate Services.

“Whilst I wouldn’t say that my degree is directly related to my current role, after I graduated in ’92 there was a recession and many people like myself naturally fell into accountancy. When I was offered this role in 2018, I jumped at the chance to return to Lancaster because I love Lancaster and I am very pleased to be working for the city from where I received my university education many years ago.”

Tessa Mott

BA (Hons) English Language 2013 - Cartmel

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Corporate Services Support Officer

“My degree and time spent at Lancaster University has very much helped to shape me as an individual and as an employee at Lancaster City Council. Whilst at Lancaster I studied English Language and Linguistics and the skills that I developed are often utilised in my current work. The linguistic skills that I developed at University came in particularly useful in my former role in Democratic Services as it involved maintaining accurate reflections of Council/Committee meetings and decisions made by Councillors.”

Ross Jones

BA (Hons) Modern Languages 2012 - Lonsdale

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Elections Assistant

“Studying languages at Lancaster University also involved studying various cultures and behaviours and this helps me in my role working in Elections as I assist residents in the district from all backgrounds. Sometimes I can decipher documentation submitted by European residents in record speed, it’s basically a super power! Furthermore, whilst at Lancaster University, I am proud to say that I founded and was the two time President of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Club. This is a hobby that I still continue with and the skills learnt running the club have helped me immensely with project and task management in my job.”

Stephen Hargreaves

BSc (Hons) Computer Science 2006 - Pendle

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Projects and Security Manager (ICT)

“My degree at Lancaster University provided me with vital skills that I have used throughout my work at the council. These skills have enabled me to automate processes, gather user requirements and approach new technologies with confidence.”

Kate Smith

BSc (Hons) Economics 2004 - Cartmel

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Regeneration Officer

“One of the courses I studied focused on the role of government at various levels to intervene in market failures through policy and investment and this seemed to me like it could be a good thing to do with my life. I’m lucky that this is at the core of the variety of projects I’ve been involved with over my time at the council and at the same time I get to try to make my adopted home a better place to be.”

Sheila Acayo

LLM International Law and Diplomacy 2019 - Graduate

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Legal Assistant

“Having worked within the legal industry previously and then studying International Law and Diplomacy at Lancaster University, this has given me the confidence needed in the role that I am currently working in within the council.”

Gillian Petfield

BA (Hons) Philosophy 1998 - Lonsdale

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Museum Assistant

“Whilst I’d hesitate to say my role is directly linked to my degree, I would emphasise my love of Lancaster in relation to my current role at Lancaster City Council. I really love the old buildings in Lancaster. I particularly like being in the parts of the museums that the public do not get to see, or when they are empty and I can feel the energy inside the spaces. Sometimes I touch the stones and imagine an energy connects us fitting into the world when they were quarried and put into place. I feel privileged to work where I do.”

Shannon Bell

MSc Volcanology and Geological Hazards 2017 - Graduate

Current role at Lancaster City Council: GIS Officer

“Whilst studying at University I undertook several GIS modules which have proved invaluable in my role as GIS Officer at the council.”

Robert Clarke

BSc (Hons) Geography 2013 - Cartmel

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Planning Assistant

“At Lancaster University I studied Physical Geography. The course provided me with a solid knowledge base on topics such as hydrology, air quality and climatology, subjects that are particularly relevant to my role at Lancaster City Council. My time at university also highlighted to me what an amazing place Lancaster and the wider district is and this is why I particularly enjoy the part I play in its ongoing development and progression.”

Benjamin Wainwright

BA (Hons) International Relations and Strategic Studies 2000 - Cartmel

Current role at Lancaster City Council: ICT Development Manager

“The time at university rather than the degree was the key thing for me. I loved Lancaster right from the start and it is the area in which I have chosen to stay. My love for Lancaster has pushed me to want to stay involved and work to improve the area. Some of the work I undertook in politics has definitely come in handy when managing inter-departmental relationships. Furthermore, since my undergraduate degree, I have also studied for an MA, FdSc and MBA, the latter two have been funded by the council and a community scholarship which demonstrates further the links between town and gown.”

Diane Neville

BSc (Hons) Geography 2001 - Furness

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Senior Planning Policy Officer

“My current role utilises both physical and human geography skills. Geography is a great base for a career in planning and planning policy as it covers so many different areas which are used within the role (i.e. land use, climate change issues, development of place, project management and time management.)”

Mark Potts

BSc (Hons) Geography 2004 - Pendle

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Major Applications Planning Officer

“I studied a mix of physical and human geography and with many of the modules the underlying theories and concepts are used on a daily basis in my role at the council. For example, with catchment hydrology, the underlying principles of this are used to assess a development’s impact on surface water patterns, and how provision is made for water management within developments. Courses such as Energy, Economy and the Environment equipped me well for my time in the renewable energy industry. My dissertation looked at how the demand for student accommodation in Lancaster in 2004 was putting pressure on the private rented sector market. This link is quite pertinent, as over the course of the last 24 months I have been the Planning Officer responsible for a number of large purpose built student accommodation schemes in Lancaster such as Caton Court, the Gillow’s building, Filter House Studios and St Leonard's House.”

Emily Turbitt

BA (Hons) Criminology 2001 - Lonsdale

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Customer Service Team Leader

“I am not sure if there is a direct link between my degree and what I do now, but I have always been interested in the justice system, welfare and supporting people in those times of their lives when they need additional support. Therefore, moving into the world of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support when I was a fresh faced 22 year old was actually a job that was a good fit for my areas of interest. I currently manage a team of Customer Service Advisors and I very much enjoy helping people and problem solving.”

Eleanor Woodhouse

BSc (Hons) Geography 2014 - Cartmel

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Planning Policy Assistant

“I had always enjoyed geography at school and so that is why I chose to continue studying geography at Lancaster University. Initially, I chose Lancaster because I wanted to stay relatively close to home. Although I have lived within the district most of my life, I still wanted to have the university lifestyle, and so I chose to move in to Lancaster for three years. After I graduated, I began working in the planning department for a renewable energy company and then moved on to work for the council. I have now been working at the city council for three years and I have just completed a Master's in Town and Regional Planning. So that’s how I came to be where I am today!”

Rebecca Richards

BSc (Hons) Geography 2001 - Pendle

Current role at Lancaster City Council: Planning Policy Officer

“My degree has been extremely relevant to my job both in terms of the content that I studied and the skills that I learnt. When studying at Lancaster University I knew I wanted to do something with my degree ideally with an environmental angle. I was fortunate firstly to get a job in planning at Lancashire County Council and then here at Lancaster City Council.”

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