Graduate Case Study

Chris Paddock 406Chris Paddock

Chris is a Director of Urban Solutions at Hatch Regeneris and is based in London. Since studying Geography at the University of Leicester, Chris has worked on socio-economic strategies for a range of projects, including Kings Cross, the West End and the Olympic Park. He is currently working on a major culture-led economic strategy for the Thames Estuary on behalf of the Mayor of London.

Why did you want to study Geography?
I actually started off studying Economics and Geography as a combined degree. From day one, I found the lack of real-world application in economics frustrating; this was countered by a focus on issues and topics in geography that was refreshing and dynamic! It was not long before I switched to focus on just geography.

What is your best Leicester memory?
I had a great time at university - Leicester is a great place to be a student and I met some of my favourite people there. A special memory was a talk given by a hero of mine, Edward Soja, which was a thrill.

What do you like most about your job?
I like the diversity and I like the focus on place. We are lucky to have a wide range of clients from small community-focussed charities to some of the biggest property investors in the world. All of them are thinking about specific places they work in and what makes them different and we get to help them understand this better. I am also lucky to work with some incredibly talented people, many of whom are geographers too!

What is the most important lesson university life taught you?
It is important to challenge and debate ideas. Studying geography gave me the confidence to develop my own ideas and thinking.

Where in the world would you like to be right now?
If the sun is out, the Scottish Highlands.

Paper map or Sat Nav?
Paper maps — I can literally look at them all day!