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Megan Filkins

Megan Filkins

Megan Filkins

Name: Megan Filkins
Job Title: Private Secretary at Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Degree: BA History
Year of Graduation: 2018

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is the part of government responsible for some of the economy’s most thriving and enriching sectors. As a Private Secretary I act as an aide to a senior department official. My role is really varied – from disseminating key decisions, speaking to external stakeholders on behalf of seniors, running board meetings, and the occasional glamourous trip (in the post-lockdown world). I’m also responsible for managing a team of four colleagues supporting other senior leaders. Our wider team looks after policy for the media and creative industries; fashion, television, film, video games, newspapers, and much, much more.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

Everyone says it… but I got such a great first impression from the campus and that initial drive up to the Founders Building. I loved that it was near enough to London with an international feel and focus, but still green, rural and leafy. The History course options were fantastic, and it was great to be able to choose my own modules and areas of focus right from the start.

What was the best thing about studying History at Royal Holloway?

Definitely the tutors and community feel. Because Royal Holloway is smaller than your average university you’re able to build really good relationships throughout the three years and loop in closely with experts in different areas of History. Right from the start you see the same friendly faces again and again in lectures, seminars and around campus, so you never feel too lost.

How did a History degree help you develop your career?

A History degree definitely taught me how to write well, write a lot, and write at speed. These skills have been super valuable when I’m writing papers or minuting ministerial meetings, and I know some of my colleagues have struggled to pick up those skills later down the line. Equally, one of the key measures of success in the Civil Service is ‘Seeing the Bigger Picture’ – all those seminar and essay discussions on social, economic and political factors has helped me to factor this strategic thinking in to my day-to-day work. And, given that Covid has brought the world, country and government the biggest challenge in a century, studying history reminds us that it’s all happened before! 

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