What our recent graduates have been doing

We wanted to  the content on the BA English course pages, to include specific case studies of students who went on to find jobs or built careers after graduating. I sent an email round to our amazing recent-ish graduates, and these are some of the really inspiring responses I received. From teaching to financial services and speech therapy – our graduates thrive in the widest range of careers.
Tasnim Ahmed – English Teacher

tasnim Ahmed _ english‘I graduated in 2016 and started training to become a  teacher shortly after that. I am currently completing my NQT year as a Teacher of English at Chiltern Academy in Luton. Chiltern Academy is a brand new secondary school in Luton which opened in September 2018. It has been an incredible experience right from the beginning, especially being part of the journey to making our first year at Chiltern a success. I have recently been promoted to the role of Subject Coordinator and look forward to further facilitating and encouraging the learning of English as well as developing our curriculum to ensure all our pupils achieve the best possible outcome. I strongly feel that my degree has enabled me to secure (what I believe) is the best job in the world! Nothing beats the feeling of knowing you are making an impact and inspiring the next generation.’

Check  Chiltern Academy’s Twitter @ChilternA to have a look at what Tasnim’s pupils have been doing in English this year!

 

Amanda Emery – Speech and Language Therapist

‘When I graduate from English at Middlesex, I was lucky enough to get a brilliant job as a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant for the NHS with children with complex needs and children who are deaf. I worked there for one year to gain experience for my Masters application, as the course is extremely competitive and I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the last NHS funded programme and to become a qualified Speech and Language Therapist.

During my final year on the BA English course I remember not being sure of what I wanted to do and  a tutor mentioned past students career paths had included working as a Speech and Language Therapist  (Which I am very thankful for- as I had never even heard of the profession previously!)

There is a big drive for more diversity in the profession and also to increase awareness of the role to the general public – I would fully recommend becoming a speech and language therapist.’

Name withheld – Banking 

‘During the final year of my degree, I found myself curious about the world of finance but in particular the world of Banking. However considering I was studying a degree in English, I assumed this would be highly unlikely.

Since graduating I worked at Mizuho Bank as a Credit Risk Analyst, then moving on to work at Credit Suisse as a Trade Support Analyst within the Fixed Income Bonds market.’

 

Hiba Hussein – English teacher

‘I went on to do a PGCE and I have now almost finished my second year as a teacher at Haverstock School in Camden (where the Milibands once attended). It is an inner London comprehensive school with a very diverse body of students and staff. I am really enjoying teaching and inspiring young people. I am currently gathering the experience and skills to move on to a more pastoral leadership role in the future i.e. head of year.’

Kvetoslava Drabikova – Accountancy 

KvetoslavaFinally, Kvetoslava Drabikova, who is already on our course page, currently works for Omnicom Media Group, which has recently been recognized as one of the top media agencies in the world by WARC. She is applying the strong communication and project management skills she developed at her English degree at Middlesex in her career in accountancy in London.

 

A good life: citizenship, skills and employability in English studies

‘How can English Studies overcome instrumentalism when it comes to the employability agenda? Is it possible to move beyond having to prove that our degrees are good value because they lead to good careers? Can we work together with students to consider how to live ‘good lives’ through education?’

On the 13th and 14th of April, I attended my first ever University English  Annual General Meeting & Heads of English networking event at the University of Lancaster. The two-day meeting had everything: innovative practices in learning, teaching and assessment of English at University level, discussion of hiring and promotion practices in the sector, surviving your first year as Head of Department, recent A Level reforms, and of course TEF and REF 2021.

lancaster

I found the panel on Employability really interesting, as it showcased some exciting and innovative ways of connecting students with the wider world.

Dr Fiona Douglas (Leeds) talked about the great (but also tricky to organise) module on Heritage & Dialect that takes students outside the classroom and into local museums and blends teaching, research and public engagement.

Dr Clare Egan (Lancaster) emphasised the importance of treating degrees not as tools to get a job but as central to developing skills for everything we are doing. She showed the importance of problem-solving learning, moving from ‘careers talks’ to ‘career-focused problem solving’, helping students develop critical reflection and self awareness, and discussed modules that fully integrate work in the field: local schools, arts organisations etc.

Yvonne  Battle-Felton, co-founder of  Stories at The Storey (true story open mic night) and North West Lit Salon and Creative Writing PhD spoke about the PhD creative writing student as entrepreneur.  

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Middlesex and Haringey Sixth Form College students shortlisting submissions for ‘Haringey Unchained’ magazine

We are already incorporating many of these ideas in the BA English at Middlesex. To name just a few examples:

  • First-year modules, such as Global Englishes, include problem-solving based learning. Students have to work in groups to design and carry out an experiment testing a hypothesis. Through their empirical projects, they develop high level research skills but, perhaps more crucially, really valuable interpersonal, negotiation, leadership and teamworking skills.
  • Our students develop employability skills by mentoring local 6th form college students in producing a literary magazine, Haringey Unchained.
  • Also, from 2018-19 we will extend students’ opportunities to volunteer at local schools, act as ambassadors for English and make a positive impact to their communities through the two third-year modules ‘Work Placement’ and ‘Teaching Englishes’.
  • Students get to work with acclaimed writers and practitioners of a range of genres. These include their own tutors but also guest speakers. For example this year, second year BA English students invited and interviewed Ian McGuire, author of the celebrated novel and soon-to-be BBC series The North Water.
  • From 2018, BA English students will be involved in the organisation of the 2019 North London Story Festival.