Why did you decide to study history at Sheffield?
I decided fairly early on at Sixth Form that I wanted to study English and History as a dual degree, and I began looking in to Russell Group universities offering this program. The structure of the degree at Sheffield appeared to be a lot more flexible, and the size of the departments meant that I would have a lot more choice in terms of modules. I also knew from the start that I wanted the chance to study abroad, and the amazing range of opportunities at Sheffield really did influence this.
What did you enjoy about your course?
Well, obviously I loved my year abroad and the opportunities it gave me, but in Sheffield itself, I really liked the option to specialise in the final year of the history degree program. The chance to really get to know a subject for more than just one semester was fantastic, and the ways in which those courses were taught (small groups and no lectures) meant that it was far easier to get to know other people in the class and feel more comfortable expressing opinions and asking questions.
What about the University and Sheffield itself?
My Mum grew up in Sheffield and my grandparents still live there, so I knew the city pretty well before I started at the University. I love the green spaces and the fact that Sheffield feels a lot more like a bunch of villages all squished together than a city. It's such a friendly place and it feels so safe compared to a lot of other places.
I loved the opportunities offered by the Students' Union, as well, and the fact that students had the chance to do so many different things beside the academic. I held two editorial positions at Forge Press, was on the committee of a performing arts society and had my first play performed while I was studying at Sheffield.
What was your first job post-graduation?
My current job is my first, as I only graduated four months ago! I am currently employed full-time as a Study Abroad Coordinator, and am the main contact for all worldwide exchanges. I handle 48 partner universities on every continent except Europe, which is really exciting.
How did your time at Sheffield help prepare you for this role?
Although a lot of my job is administrative, I would say that the main skills I use are communication-based. I speak to students, staff members and parents on a daily basis about the opportunities afforded by studying abroad, and the options that are available to them; as well as negotiating with partner universities, writing promotional material and handling queries that come in via email and on the phone.
Aside from verbal and written communication skills, I am also very grateful for the data analysis skills that working with historical sources has given me, because I feel far better placed to work with numbers and analyse figures than I would have otherwise! (I didn't take maths A Level, so I'm a bit numerically-challenged!)