By Mesha Pope
3rd year student
The School of English recently held a careers day which hosted fourteen guest speakers, each with a different angle on life after university. The speakers had mostly taken different paths, and had individual journeys to gain experience, knowledge and a true feeling of what they really wanted to do as a career. There was a combination of creatives, professionals, ex-students along with a couple of curve-balls!
The day was heavily influenced by the creative sector. Although this was not applicable to everyone, it was great to hear from so many people entering the creative world from different angles. It proved to those students who may want to explore screenwriting, editing and radio writing (to name a few), that it isn’t just doable, but it is becoming a common career path. This also solidified for those students who are contemplating a more academic career route the differences in career paths, and highlighted perhaps what they did not want to do. This, of course, being just as valuable as knowing what you do want to do).
As a student who is quite uncertain of the direction to take with my degree, I felt it particularly useful to hear from a range of different people. I have toyed with the idea of a Masters and PHD and a PCET/PGCE course to qualify as a teacher. After hearing from a current teacher, it really gave me the inspiration to submit my PCET application. He was enthusiastic, yet brutally honest, regarding life as a teacher. Not only did he speak to the group, but he also held back to have individual conversations regarding experiences and route ways into teaching; this was invaluable to a novice such as myself.
The university host a wealth of careers events and get into teaching days, but what was great about this one is that it is tailored to English students specifically. All year groups can attend, which allows first years to start to think about how their degree will aid the rest of their working life, and third years who may be verging on leaving with no idea of what to do next, to gain knowledge from industry professionals as to what different careers really mean.