Alumni Stories – James Sanders
18th March 2021
This series of posts looks at what our former students do after they graduate in History at the University of Gloucestershire. It demonstrates the various types of employment and further study they can go into. It provides useful guides for existing students, but also highlights the fascinating journeys of our graduates. The next story comes from James Sanders (Class of 2015).
I graduated from the University of Gloucestershire in 2015 and by January the following year I was on my way to Germany to work as an English language teacher. I’ve moved on since then to work at Cardiff Castle, providing guided tours to international visitors as well as supervising functions and corporate events. I’ve greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work at this heritage site, engaging with visitors from around the world. As a student I was painfully nervous whenever I had to give a class presentation, so it’s kind of ironic that I found myself enjoying a role which involves so much public speaking. I’ve always had a keen interest in foreign languages, and so I’ve also had the opportunity to provide German language tours as well.
As a History student, one of the most daunting tasks was the 10,000 word dissertation in the final year. It’s a challenge but by the end of it you acquire skills and abilities which are transferable to a range of careers and job opportunities. Whilst working at Cardiff Castle I was able to use my research abilities to further supplement my knowledge of the site, the history of which spans two millennia.
I can’t claim that I had any particular career path in mind when I chose to study History. But I think this is actually an often-overlooked strength of this degree: it’s versatile and I think it can give you a unique perspective. Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel extensively through India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and I’ve been considering taking a postgraduate course in International Relations. I believe a History degree provides a solid foundation for understanding this field. For example, Europe as we know it would not exist today without the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. Meanwhile the Atomic Bomb, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Chernobyl Disaster are all integral to understanding the nuclear debate.
The adaptability and versatility of my degree has opened up a great many opportunities for me to explore. And in studying the events of the past, I believe it has prepared me well for the challenges of the future.
If you are an Alumni in History and you would like to contribute, please contact Christian O’Connell firstname.lastname@example.org