Our Geography alumni are some of the most pioneering of all.
Graduates of our Geography Department are currently engaged in careers that range from polar exploration to HR management.
We stay in touch with our alumni and they often help foster links or support current students to find out more about particular careers.
Find out about the career paths and advice from some of our former students here
Notable Geography alumni
Tori James (1981-)
BA Geography, 2003 Royal Holloway
The mountaineer and adventurer Tori James became the youngest British woman to climb Mount Everest at the age of 25. She is the first Welsh woman to climb Everest and Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest mountain.
She initially worked for the British Schools Exploring Society at the Royal Geographical Society.
She was a member of the first ever all-female team to complete the Polar Challenge, a gruelling 360-mile race to the magnetic North Pole, raising £30,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
“Not only did we finish strongly in sixth position, we beat some all-male teams along the way! We raced through polar bear territory, across constantly-shifting sea ice in white-out conditions and in temperatures of -40°C,” says Tori.
In June 2014 she was part of the Beeline Britain team who became the first to travel in a straight line from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association.
She carries out motivational training for corporate and charitable organisations in aviation, entrepreneurship and sport and is an ambassador for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Wales, Girl Guiding UK and the Visit Wales Year of Adventure 2016.
John Alexander (1955-)
BA Geography, 1977 Bedford College
John is a former footballer and club secretary at Manchester United. Born in Liverpool, he began his football career with a club called Ulysses before being picked up by Millwall, for whom he made his league debut in 1976.
After fifteen appearances over two years with Millwall he transferred to Reading where he enjoyed great success, scoring nine goals in twenty-five games. In 1981 he joined Northampton Town but spent just one season with them before retiring from football at the age of 26 in 1982.
John then got a job with the BBC but subsequently returned to football as club secretary at Watford.
In 2000 he moved to a similar role at Tottenham Hotspur, spending ten years there before replacing the retiring Ken Ramsden at Manchester United in 2010. He is the uncle of Liverpool player Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Jason Lewis (1967-)
BSc Biology & Geography, 1990 Royal Holloway and Honorary Fellow
Jason is an award-winning author, explorer and sustainability campaigner credited with being the first person to circumnavigate the globe by human power.
He was also the first person to cross North America on inline skates, in 1996, and in 2000 became the first to cross the Pacific Ocean by pedal power.
Together with Stevie Smith, Jason completed the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from mainland Europe to North America by human power in 1995.
After travelling 4,833 days and 46,505 miles across five continents, two oceans and two seas he re-crossed the meridian line, completing the project.
During that time he visited 863 schools in various environmental and cultural exchange programmes in conjunction with UNESCO’s Associated Schools Programme Network and raised $83,000 for small-scale charitable causes.
He regularly delivers inspirational speeches about global sustainability and appears for book signings and readings to promote The Expedition trilogy. He also frequently writes for magazines and travel books.
Anthea Millett CBE (1941-)
BA Geography, 1963 Bedford College
Educationalist Anthea has held a number of appointments and posts in the public sector, most recently as the Chairman of the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority (2002–06).
She began her career as a teacher and was deputy head of a large comprehensive school in the Midlands. In 1978 she joined HM Inspectorate as Chief Inspector with responsibility for Schools (ages 11-16), SENs, educational disadvantage and inner cities.
She subsequently became Director of Inspection at Ofsted before taking over at the Teacher Training Agency.
She has been Vice President (Education) of the Royal Geographical Society and Chief Executive of the Teacher Training Agency.
Rupert Sanderson (1966-)
BSc Geography, 1989 Royal Holloway
Rupert is a celebrated shoe designer with stores in Mayfair and Knightsbridge. His clients include Kate Moss, Emma Watson and Cheryl Cole.
He has also collaborated on shoes with Karl Lagerfeld, the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre.
Every pair of shoes is crafted in his factory near Ravenna and embodies traditional Italian craftsmanship with distinctive avant-garde design.
In 2008 he founded Fashion Fringe Shoes with Colin McDowell, with the aim of discovering and nurturing a new range of design talent.
He was awarded the British Fashion Council's Accessory Designer of the Year award in 2008 and the Accessory Designer at the Elle Style Awards in 2009.