Michael Overton is studying for a BSc. in Geography at Sheffield Hallam University
“There is no doubt that any experience working towards a goal in a foreign country will benefit me in this career choice.
I am a final year Geography student at Sheffield Hallam, director of my start-up company Sealsafe Ltd., a qualified pilot, parachutist & diver, an Army Reservist, experienced traveller and writer.
I have worked on yachts in the Middle East, trained and managed sales teams in Australia, climbed remote peaks in Central Africa, Borneo, Nepal & New Zealand, picked up duck eggs & fixed tractors in Lincolnshire, video recorded shelling on Syrian towns, worked in a casino in Sheffield, collected lobsters in the South Pacific and explored ancient burial caves in Papua New Guinea.
During my semester abroad at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, I studied modules with an Australian twist and got a feel for the country within a global context including economics, environments and politics. I also worked a few hours a week making crepes. The cost of living is high in Australia. I was there for 6 months but the hardest thing was staying focussed on assignments with great surf beaches just down the coast!
The best experiences on a personal development level were gaining an insight into areas of the world I might never have otherwise e.g. a fascinating module on the broad history and current threat/opportunity posed by China to countries across Asia and Oceania.
It gave me the fantastic opportunity to travel to wild places across the continent e.g. Papua New Guinea – exploring ancient burial caves!
Each experience builds on the last in life to make you a more interesting, resilient and ambitious person with the right attitude. There is no doubt that these experiences multiply 10 fold when you throw yourself at life in a foreign country. The worst thing I had to manage was a crazy land-lady
I am keen to work as a research executive for a global branding agency so ability to work in totally unique environments and analyse the cultural dynamics that play into both conversations and reports is important.
Recently a student came to me for advice on studying abroad, I was happy to help but the detailed questions on everything from phone network recommendations to options on washing facilities just went on and on until I stopped replying. My advice is don’t panic, you are not flying to Mars – a little mystery and open planning can enhance your overall experience.”