Don't let anybody tell you that studying a degree in history isn't worthwhile. If it's a subject that you enjoy, you will make the most of it
A transcript of the video:
Hi, my name is Victoria. I studied for a BA Honours in history at the University of Sheffield, and I'm now an investment writer at Scottish widows. I decided to study at the University of Sheffield, mainly because I like the city and I like the university. People seemed very friendly. And I liked the fact that it was on the edge of the Peak District and not a huge city. So very friendly.
I went into a career in writing and editing by accident. I studied on a graduate training programme at Bank of Scotland. After graduating. As part of that, I spent some time writing and editing and then decided that that was the field that I wanted to go into. I worked for the bank for about five years and then joined a special publishing agency based in Edinburgh. And then earlier this year, I joined Scottish widows as an investment writer.
My role as an investment writer at Scottish widows is to produce written articles for consumers, so the general public and also for fund managers and investment advisors. So it covers quite a range of topics and areas of sophistication. The research element of the role is particularly important. Article research takes the form of initial discussions with the wider team, the investment team. And then a lot of desk research. Using various primary and secondary sources to create arguments and evidence that will shape an article.
I'm also a freelance writer and editor. The most enjoyable part of that is the variety of work that comes with it. So it can be anything from editing history books to editing autobiographies or writing economic bogs or financial pieces of material. I think the most challenging part is the difficulty and switching off in saying no to articles when I'm particularly busy. But that comes with the territory.
The skills and experience that I gained from studying history at the University of Sheffield helped me every day. The research skills in particular have proved invaluable. And I use them in every single piece of literature or produce. The ability to find credible sources. The ability to sift through evidence, construct a coherent argument that draws the reader in, and also the confidence to deal with people from very different disciplines. And the ability to shape discussions and debate.
The piece of work I'm most proud of is co-authoring a book called trading economics, which is a guide for practitioners and students. And I did that with a former Chief Economist at Lloyds Bank. The work is used on university reading lists and it gives people a grounding in economics and how they can be used. What specifically meant so much to me was the collaboration between myself and a leading authority in the field. And the fact that we remain close friends to this day.
My advice to prospective students would be to not let anybody tell you that studying a degree in history isn't worthwhile. If it's a subject that you enjoy, you will make the absolute most of it and you will learn skills that will help you whatever you decide to do next. My advice for current students would be to enjoy every moment of it and take every single opportunity that arises and look back on Sheffield with fond memories.
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