One of the reasons I chose Royal Holloway was due to the fact that, in my eyes, it offered the best of both worlds. It is located out of London, which offered a change of scenery, but at the same time it is not too far away (I am a city girl at heart!). Another reason I applied was due to Royal Holloway being the only university in the London region and with a prestigious reputation that offered Criminology and Sociology as a joint honours programme. Everywhere else I looked offered either Sociology with Criminology as a minor programme, or both as single honours programmes. After reading more about the programme and comparing with other universities, I found that Criminology and Sociology offered a much broader range of topics. I visited the department on an Open Day, and got the impression that the department offered all the academic provision students need, yet at the same time were also friendly and supportive. I think that the department truly believes in and cares for every individual student. This really solidified my decision to choose Royal Holloway.
My favourite aspect of the programme would have to be the vast range of topics covered and courses offered to students. When it came to making choices about which units to study in the coming term or year, I and other students would always have such a hard time! From topics like ‘Sociology of Family’ to ‘Risk, Insecurity and Terrorism’, Crim/Soc never ceased to fascinate and intrigue me. The topics we studied were just snippets of deeper, larger areas of studies that we could further explore. One important thing I took away with me was a deeper appreciation of the huge market for crime fiction in society today. It has made me consider writing a crime novel, since that seems to be where all the money is! In all seriousness, though, I would recommend studying Crim/Soc because the learning is continual, in part because of the variety of topics, but also because of the new awareness you develop of the world around you, how events around the globe can trickle down and impact on individuals. Crim/Soc helps you to make your own judgements on such matters, because you have examined so many theories that enable you to come to your own conclusion. Moreover, the subject matter is constantly changing as the world changes. Lastly, you have amazing staff around you to help you out. They have such a wealth of knowledge altogether, which makes them distinguished educators, yet they are so friendly and can crack quite a few jokes!
Whilst studying, I was a member of the Musical Theatre and Drama societies; both offered many types of activities such as master classes and teaching sessions, as well as plays or musicals that everyone could participate in. The most notable moment for me would be when the Musical Theatre Society invited some actors from the West End production ‘The Lion King’ to take a movement and dance class, as well as share their experiences of what it is like to be in a famous musical.
I have been very fortunate to have been in full-time employment since graduating. First, I landed a job in IT recruitment at Experis IT, which introduced me into the world of work within an office environment, as opposed to the Waitrose part-time setting that I had been used to for the past four years. Since October, I have been at Icon Solutions (UK) Ltd, a certified IBM Business Partner and boutique IT consultancy that specialises in providing IT solutions and services within the UK Financial Service Sector (FSS) to banks such as HSBC, Citi, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. At Icon Solutions, I am in charge of software license renewals, ensuring that our clients are up-to-date with their software, alongside placing new IBM software orders for new clients. I also handle the fee-based incentive/program that IBM offers to its Business Partners, for identifying and selling software opportunities to new clients. Additionally, I am training to be an Account Manager within Icon Solutions, to go and identify new business, classify the needs of the client and provide opportunities for their needs to be met with a purchasable service or solution.