Posted by: Beth | February 22, 2011

Classically Trained

Classical Studies, my degree, is a little known course, and I have only met about four people who don’t ask what it is, or assume I’m studying just the Latin and Greek language. It is an employable degree though, more so than History and English Lit according to most league tables, but unless I want to be a lecturer or teacher it’s a fairly non-specific degree and it’s hard to know exactly what to do with it.

Most of the careers events run by the History department are all about postgraduate study for Classical Studies and Ancient History students, they want you to get a Masters and a Phd and become a Historian, but last week there was a refreshing change. The department ran an event with alumni from Newcastle University saying what they had done with their degree outside of academics, and the range of people there was a real eye opener for me.

There was a Classics teacher at a private school who made me actually contemplate going into teaching for the first time – she got free accommodation and food with the job and it seemed genuinely exciting getting more people into Classical Studies. There was also someone who worked at Newcastle University’s Careers Service who’d thought about academia then ended up doing something very different. Most interestingly for me though was a woman who now ran the UK marketing for Bacardi – she had my dream job and it was so uplifting to know it was possible to get that high up in marketing with a Classical Studies degree from Newcastle.

The advice they gave was tailor-made for everyone there, they knew exactly what we’d studied and what our skills were and were able go give us some amazing advice on how best to get what we want from our future jobs, it’d be great if every degree could run something like this for their students. By the end of the talk, though, I was just hoping I’d be able to go back to Newcastle one day, a success and able to give students a talk about what a great degree Classical Studies is.

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