Diane Paradise

Diane finds paradise through geology

Cornwall Campus student Diane Paradise is celebrating her University of Exeter graduation and a new career in Africa, while her daughter prepares to start university in Wales.

Diane has been awarded a BSc Applied Geology degree from the University of Exeter’s Camborne School of Mines (CSM).

A physiotherapist, Diane is preparing for a new career in copper mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Diane is one of 356 University of Exeter Cornwall Campus students graduating on Monday 25 July. In three ceremonies held at Truro Cathedral, the new graduates received their degrees from University of Exeter Chancellor Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE DL.

On 12 August Diane, 47, will start a year-long internship with Kantanga Mining Limited, giving her the opportunity to learn about every aspect of copper mining. From a cohort of 22 Geology graduates, Diane is one of 18 to have already lined up a graduate-level job or further study. In 2010, 87% of University of Exeter Geology students secured a graduate level job or went on to graduate level study within six months of graduating. The vast majority of CSM graduates are employed in areas related to their degrees.

Diane Paradise said: “The Geology degree is absolutely world-class and offers a very high level of specialised training, which has helped me secure this job. During my time with the University, I was amazed to see company directors flying in to pick out the best students. I am absolutely beside myself with excitement about my new career.”

While studying for her Geology degree, Diane continued to work at Helston-based physiotherapy practice. She had always harboured ambitions of becoming a volcanologist, but pursued a career in physiotherapy because it was easy to balance it with her responsibilities as a single parent. She decided to retrain after taking part in an amateur geology expedition and was also planning ahead for a new life to start when her daughter left for university.

Diane said: “I had to be very good at managing my time, but was able to fit my clients around my studies. It’s all worked out for me and my daughter, but that’s not because of luck – it’s because we decided what we wanted and we worked hard to achieve it.”

Diane’s 18-year-old daughter, Charli Elliss, will start her Zoology degree at Bangor University this October. She will join the other students’ families to celebrate the success of this year’s graduates at Truro Cathedral on Monday.

Head of Camborne School of Mines, Professor Frances Wall, said: “I would like to congratulate Diane on achieving her degree and wish her the best of luck with her new career. We are delighted that such a large percentage of this year’s graduates have already lined up jobs in the mining industry. As well as being well-paid, with average starting salaries between £30,000 and £40,000, these careers offer exciting travel opportunities and challenging work.”

Students of Biology, Cornish Studies, English, Geography, Geology, History, Law, Mining Engineering, Politics and Renewable Energy will be awarded with University of Exeter degrees at the Tremough Campus ceremonies. The University of Exeter will also bestow honorary degrees on local artist Neil Canning and Chair of the General Medical Council Professor Sir Peter Rubin, who grew up in Cornwall.

The ceremonies, held at 10.00, 13.15 and 15.45, were streamed live on the Graduation website.

The University of Exeter and Falmouth University are founding partners in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), a unique collaboration between six universities and colleges to promote regional economic regeneration through Higher Education, funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One and Convergence), the South West Regional Development Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall Council.

Date: 25 July 2011

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