BA French and Russian
Since graduating Luke has been working for a large investment bank with subsidiaries throughout Europe, including large offices in Warsaw, Budapest, Prague and Moscow.
How has your degree helped you towards your career?
Well, to many, it might seem that in the current economic climate it’s a safer choice to aim for business-oriented degree courses or those with a more direct career path – language degrees have a reputation of being difficult and yet being stereotyped as one of the ‘soft’ academic subjects. The reality is quite different!
Employers look for those key transferable skills that higher education instils in students – such as independent research, team projects and presentation skills, to name but a few. Being able to perform such tasks in a language that is not your own will always impress potential employers.
Has your year abroad helped you in landing graduate jobs?
Absolutely. Your experience of travelling in countries that most people will never visit, and the flexibility and intercultural awareness that your time abroad develops in you, mean that your CV immediately stands out above others who are applying for the same role. In fact, in several interviews I had after graduating, the interviewer seemed more interested in talking about why I chose Russian and the experiences I had in my year abroad than in the job I was applying for!
Having a proficiency in a Slavonic language can get your foot in the door when other applications end up in the bin!
So it’s fair to say that you enjoyed your time at Uni?
Oh yes. Sheffield is a great city and you’ll reap tremendous benefits by studying in a department that is small and dedicated like Russian and Slavonic Studies. And, while jobs and money are obviously important, being a student of a language like Russian gives you an unrepeatable chance to completely immerse yourself in a culture that’s so different from your own and leave you with experiences that you’ll never forget.