The department are welcoming of students from various backgrounds and want them to offer different perspectives on the History they are teaching

Photo of Beth Eyre
Beth Eyre
President - University of Sheffield Students' Union
BA History
Beth Eyre explains how her History degree has provided her with skills she uses in her role as the President of the University's Students' Union. She also explains her reasons for wanting to study history with us.

A transcript of the video:

Hello, my name is Beth Eyre. I graduated with a first in History in 2020. I'm currently working as the students union president at the University of Sheffield. So the reason I picked Sheffield, and there's two reasons I can pinpoint. The first is I remember distinctly on the open day and the staff who are presenting just made me feel so welcome and they really emphasise how they were. One of the key things that they emphasise in the department was that they wanted people from all different backgrounds to bring their own perspectives on to the history they were teaching. And I really value that. It made me feel really secure and welcome. And that they'd support me through that process between being an A Level student in history to a graduate. Who had a Bachelor in history. And then also the specialisms that they have, especially the Aztecs I remember really intrigued me to the department. The second thing is just the green space in Sheffield. I love how it's a small city. So you've got that bustling atmosphere when you want it, but you're also right next to the Peak District and right next to loads of parks where you can just chill out and relax. And so I love that. 

There are a few things I can pinpoint Skills that I got from studying history that really help with my job right now. I think the first is communication. So there are a lot of opportunities while working in the department to do certain things. So, I was an ambassador on open days. I was an academic rep who would put forward suggestions about how the department could be better. I was history councillor for SU council, I was on the committee for the history society. All those roles were really like supported by the department and really helped my communication skills with the university, with people who weren't students and like putting that opinion across and representing, which obviously really helps me in my role now. And I think also like the invaluable research skills you get. I don't think you really realise how applicable they are to everyday life until you got a job. And, and they're so important in creating like good arguments, good solid arguments. And also, for work, I'm doing on tuition fees, for example, I feel really at ease with quite complex subjects and able to put a point across about them. So, I would attribute that to my history degree.

My professional role on a day-to-day basis changes. But it's mainly about representing all students. So whether that be with the university, with local stakeholders or even like on a national scale, with other students' unions and the government. And that's not everything, but there's also a lot of democracy and governance work that goes into it as well. I'm also currently heading up the forgotten students campaign which is about exploring and bringing light to the issues our students face this year because I do feel like they've been forgotten and it's really important that We start to really grasp and lobby about what's happening. And so I feel very passionately about that. That's taking up a lot of work at the minute. 

Well, my future career I've really enjoyed this job, especially like the kind of policy aspect of it. I think I definitely want stay in education because I'm passionate about such an important thing for society. Yeah, and I don't know if it'll be higher education, maybe younger children, but just what I can do to help bridge those gaps, and what I can do to change the system to really help people on their journey for education is really important to me. So something I really want to do in the future. 

My advice would be just definitely get involved where you can It might not feel like it's for you, but just take that leap and do it. It was definitely the most valuable thing I got out of university hands down. Even things like being on history society, or being an academic rep They help you feel so much more connected to the department and like ultimately benefit your studies as well as just be an extracurricular activity. So I would 100 percent recommend that you get involved with that.

Okay. Thank you.

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