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Michael Finch

Michael Finch

After my first visit to Cardiff University during my A-Levels I was certain I wanted to come here to study. Cardiff was everything I was looking for, a perfect balance between a first-class education in Earth Sciences, small city living and great access to the outdoors.

The city itself certainly lives up to its reputation as one of the best nights-out in the UK, however it offers plenty more in terms of great shopping, restaurants, live sports, and music venues. The University is perfectly positioned, and nearby halls of residence means that everything truly is on your doorstep.

The facilities at the University and notably at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences was fantastic, whilst the students union provided a great base to meet new friends and begin my career. I studied Geology (BSc), a three-year course which provided all the necessary foundations for my career including technical knowledge developed under the guidance of world-class lecturers.

Further education

I undertook a Master’s program in Mining Geology at Camborne School of Mines at the University of Exeter. Whilst admission here can be tough, I was in a good position due to the fieldwork heavy nature of Cardiff University's Geology program, and the strong foundation skills passed on by the excellent lecturers.

The 1-year course built nicely on my BSc and after graduating with a distinction went on to gain experience as an exploration geologist focusing on precious and base metal mineralisation in North Africa. Whilst I initially enjoyed my time in the field, I decided long-shift patterns were not what I was looking for.

Travelling the world

I applied to Commodities Research Unit in London, a mining and metals consultancy and accepted a position as a research analyst. Whilst the job is predominantly desk based, there are excellent travel opportunities to be had, alongside secondments and numerous mine visits.

After 4 years working in relatively junior positions, I now find myself leading a team responsible for 5 research reports which generate over £1 million in revenue for the company. I have travelled internationally 8 times this year and presented keynote sessions at numerous global conferences.