BA Classical Studies (2009), Parliamentary Researcher
Why did you choose Royal Holloway for your degree?
It'd be a lie to say that the Founder's Building didn't have a huge impact on my choosing Royal Holloway. But that was more the icing on the cake. The substance of the sponge was the department. The academics were approachable and interesting, the subject matter enticing. The league table performance of the Classics department was strong, this combined with the feel of the campus and the diversoty of the Students' Union ultimately sold it to me.
How did your time at Royal Holloway help your future career?
I think it's safe to say that my time at Royal Holloway made me who I am today. Not only did the academic rigour of the Classics department prepare me for the world of work, but my extra-curricular activities gave me an appreciation of how complex that world actually is. Through editing The Orbital student publication, creating events and participating in Student Union life I was able to get a taste for my current career: politics. The variety of challenges that I came across in my course helped me no end: from analysing ancient political propaganda and debating philosophical treatises, to dissecting legal manuscripts and learning about archaic social practices. The skills I honed of analysis, observation and patience combined with my extra-curricular activities to ensure that I was as prepared as I could be for the world of work. If I could take my time again, I wouldn't have done anything differently.
What do you do now and what advice would you give to anyone thinking about a career in your sector?
At the moment I'm a Parliamentary Researcher for a senior MP in the House of Commons. It's a great career - I've written speeches for influential conferences; advised and written briefings for national legislation; raised the profile of crucial campaigns and developed initiatives to raise standards of living. The skills I learnt during my time studying Classics at Royal Holloway prepared me for the real world. People without a grasp of the subject often asked at the time: "Why do Classics? What use will it be in the real world?" The transferable skills, the ability to analyse and argue with confidence, to see through the rhetoric and be clear in your communication. All of these skills and more help me every day. Classics is a valuable subject, an internationally respected subject and one that I'd have no hesitation in recomending people to study. Especially if it's at Royal Holloway.