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Graduate profiles

Graduate profiles

Find out more about our graduates' diverse and exciting careers.

In these graduate profiles, some of our former students talk about their career and how their classical degree from Royal Holloway helped to get them where they are now.

Name: Constandina Patsalou

Subject: BA Classics and Philosophy

Graduated: 2017

Place of work: Vitamin London

Position: Content and Marketing Manager


Why did you choose to study a classical degree at Royal Holloway?

The list was extensive when I was deciding. It ultimately came down to the interview day, feeling incredibly welcome by the Classics Department team and being swept up in the allure of Founders. Dr Christos Kremmydas and Dr Anne Shepherd made me feel involved and wanted from that singular day.


What did you enjoy most about your course?

The wide range of courses was wonderful. From gender relations in the ancient world to Ovidian poetry. Every interest from history to literature felt catered to by the department's options and we were always permitted to select courses that we wanted to specialise in. 


How did Royal Holloway help you to discover opportunities and prepare you for life after university or to find your purpose in life?

The learning environment at RHUL was so encouraging that I decided to carry on studying and completed an MSc in Classics. Although I have not remained in the academic world of Classics, the boost by having both degrees provides a unique benefit in the challenging search for jobs. 

The culture also felt incredibly supportive, from the society friends we made, to my advisor.  Any question or decision was encouraged so you we able to explore different ideas of what your future could unfold. 


Were there particular experiences or career development opportunities at Royal Holloway that steered you towards your chosen career path? 

My particular interest in marketing arose from the societies available at RHUL, including our department's very own Classical Society, and from the freedom permitted in essays to pen your own beliefs and designs. As it is very much a creative role, the free thinking advocated by the Classics department members has certainly benefited me in this path. 


Please tell us about your career journey since graduating.  What are you doing now?

Since finishing academia, I have worked in marketing and social media. I work with various e-commerce brands and create social media strategies for their accounts. This is both a creative and freeing position as I am able to use my own ideas for each account to create distinctive brand work. You are always ready for the latest trend and how to incorporate it into your work.


What do you enjoy most or find most rewarding about your current role?

The chance to create, to watch your projects grow from foundational ideas to adverts and campaigns. It is very exciting knowing your ideas are both respected and used by clients with large followings. Even if an idea seems unusual, it is very fun to develop it and see how it grows since inception. 


What advice would you give to students thinking about a career in your sector?

You do not need a degree in marketing, do not be fooled. Having a Classics background has provided a different interpretation to each challenge.  

Name: Alex Boast

Subject: BA Classical Studies

Graduated: 2012

Place of work: Establishment Labs

Position: Global Marketing Manager



Why did you choose to study Classics at Royal Holloway?

I went to see Reading and Exeter (both good schools for Classics) before Royal Holloway and whilst I liked both neither felt like home. Holloway had two important things I liked – location, and staff. Dr Christos Kremmydas (then admissions tutor) was without a doubt the reason I went to Royal Holloway. 


What did you enjoy most about your course?

I couldn't believe that I was able to study classical literature and spend time to receive an education whilst reading comedies, tragedies, poetry, and epic. It was so interesting and creative which I was very pleasantly surprised by!


How did Royal Holloway help you to discover opportunities and prepare you for life after university / to find your purpose in life?

There was good amount of careers focus at Royal Holloway but I'd already made my mind up to study a Masters (in English and Creative Writing) and they helped me to pursue further study and encouraged me in my desire to be a writer.


Were there particular experiences / career development opportunities at Royal Holloway that steered you towards your chosen career path?

I wish I'd taken the opportunity to join the staff at the SU or Crosslands to learn more about teamwork and leadership – I was a lazy, average student and definitely could have got more out of Royal Holloway, had I been willing to put more in!


Please tell us about your career journey since graduating. What are you doing now?

I've always wanted to be – and been – a writer, and since my first "big" job my roles have all been dressed-up versions of being a communicator. One particular job, which moved me from digital to traditional marketing, convinced me that learning how to speak and listen would help me to become a better writer: they were right!


What do you enjoy most / find most rewarding about your current role?

I absolutely love being able to use my communications skills to impact people’s lives for the better, at work and in life. When we created the Advocacy Program at Experian it was all about listening instead of talking and I got to go launch it in Sydney. That was pretty rewarding and I love that we could help people around the world.


What advice would you give to students thinking about a career in your sector?

I've worked in healthcare, education and data, but any industry can benefit from the appreciation of storytelling and attention to detail that I hope you will have if you've chosen to study Classics. Classics grads will make great writers, marketers, journalists and people.


Name: Mario Creatura
Subject: BA Classical Studies
Graduated: 2009
Place of work: House of Commons
Position: 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 diversity 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 recommending people to study. Especially if it's at Royal Holloway.

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