Graduate profiles

The flexible, modular structure of our courses means that our graduates leave with a unique set of skills and experience. They enter a wide variety of career paths and these profiles will give you an idea of just some of the options open to you.

Find out what our modern languages graduates think of our Department and how their degree at Essex has helped them in their career, in the video below.

Modern languages at Essex: let’s speak to our graduates from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Interviews with former students

Modern languages

Undergraduate

  • Sarah Ayling, Policy Officer in the diplomatic service of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (BA Modern Languages and Linguistics)

    Sarah Ayling

    Sarah studied Modern Languages and Linguistics at Essex, graduating in 2008. She is now working in the diplomatic service of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Her job has involved working in the field of human rights, including a placement in the British Embassy in Afghanistan. Sarah will be taking a year off work to study for an MPhil in International Relations and Politics at the University of Cambridge in 2014-15.

    What inspired you to work for the government and the Foreign Office in particular?

    I’ve always wanted to work overseas and like keeping on top of current international affairs. But I didn’t want to be on the outside looking in, I wanted to the one helping to write and drive forward UK foreign policy. I now love seeing things on the news and knowing that I played a role in it. For example, when the UK, US, France, Germany, Russia and China agreed an interim deal in November 2013 that halted progress on Iran’s development of its nuclear programme.

    What is your key piece of advice for those students about to enter the professional world?

    Studying at Essex is fantastic but don’t forget all the opportunities outside lectures - join all the clubs / societies that take your fancy, even if it’s something you’ve never done before, and make use of the valuable network around you. Some of these people will be your friends for life, but many more will be your valuable contacts in the working world.

    What 3 things did you enjoy most about learning languages at Essex?

    I enjoyed learning languages at Essex because it has a friendly and relaxed environment both inside and outside the classroom, I appreciated the flexibility of the department which allowed students to pick up languages from scratch and I liked the fact that Essex is very multicultural, the perfect environment for a languages student!

    How has your degree helped you get where you are today?

    Although I haven’t yet used my French or Spanish in my job, my degree gave me the foundation and experience to be able to pick up other languages quickly. For example, I learnt Dari whilst I was living in Afghanistan, and most recently Farsi as part of my work on Iran. The Foreign Office is great at offering language training whether you’re going on an overseas posting, or just have an interest in a certain language whilst you’re working in London. I’m certain there will be plenty of opportunities in future for me to undertake a diplomatic posting to a British Embassy in a French or Spanish speaking country. My year abroad in Lyon, was a good way for me to test if I liked living in a foreign country. And I did! After graduating I knew that working for the Foreign Office would be perfect for me.

  • Auguste Usonyte, Research Student at the University of Cambridge (BA Politics with Modern Languages)

    Auguste Usonyte

    Auguste graduated from the University of Essex in 2013. She is now studying for an MPhil in Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge.

    What was special about studying at Essex?

    Essex stands out for its multicultural environment, wide range of social activities and academic excellence. I made friends with people from around the world and joined the Climbing and Latin American societies. The latter ignited a deep interest in what I am currently doing. One of the best things about Essex - wonderful international exchange opportunities that do not only enrich your academic understanding but also encourage you to step out of our comfort zone and embrace other cultures. Essex does not make you into a 'dry' theoretical scholar, it gives you a push to develop yourself into so many different fields and directions. That's what I loved, Essex gave me a chance to develop my academic and social interests as well as discover the ones I did not know I had inclination for.

    What did you do after leaving Essex?

    Few months before graduation I started thinking about applying for Masters programmes and as I knew the only thing I wanted to do was Latin American Studies, I applied for a MPhil LAS at University of Cambridge and here I am!

    How did studying languages at Essex help you obtain your current role?

    Learning Spanish was the key reason why I got a chance to spend an unforgettably delightful year in Mexico, study with the locals, work in an NGO fighting for Central American immigrants' human rights and travel around Central America getting to know local indigenous Spanish-speaking communities. Without knowing the language I would not have been able to experience and do as much as I did. All the things I was working on during that year were essential for me being accepted to one of the top universities of the world.

    What other skills did you learn at Essex that helped you?

    As I mentioned above, Essex provides you not only with academic, but with a range of transferable skills like communication, teamwork, determination and responsibility. This experience is priceless in today's hectic and overly competitive world.

    What advice would you give to students currently studying politics or international relations?

    Even though many social sciences students do not see language studies as a very rewarding subject, I am a living example that this is not the case! Being able to speak foreign languages gives you an edge in a competitive world. Learning languages is pure hard work and determination but it pays off! Apart from getting me where I am now, the beauty of learning languages is that when you speak in a foreign tongue you can be passionate in Spanish, expressive in Italian, elegant in French, polite in English and exact in German - an exceptional gift for all your hard work!

  • Marilena Toumazou, current Essex MA student (BA Modern Languages)

    Marilena Toumazou Marilena graduated with BA Modern Languages in 2013 and is currently doing an MA in International Relations.

    What did you enjoy the most about studying at Essex?

    I really enjoyed the environment in general, especially the atmosphere created by the professors both inside and outside class hours. I really enjoyed every moment at Essex.

    What did you do after leaving Essex?

    I am continuing my studies and I am now doing a Masters Degree (MA) in International Relations in the Department of Government.

    How did studying languages at Essex help you achieve your current role?

    It has helped me in a variety of ways, personally as well as educationally. With my undergraduate degree and my MA I am positive that I will achieve my goal in obtaining a good job; this is something which can be very hard in these days.

    What other skills did you learn at Essex that helped you?

    The way we were being taught at Essex was very useful in regards to future obligations. For example, the fact that we performed in role plays as well as presentations aided in gaining confidence. The skills I have acquired will help me when I start working.

    What advice would you give to students currently studying languages?

    Be inspired and hardworking and you will see surprisingly good results at the end.

  • Nina Philpott, MFL teacher (BA Modern Languages)

    Nina Philpott

    Nina graduated with a BA in Modern Languages in 2012 and now works as a French and Spanish teacher. She received the John Ross second and final year prize for French as well as the Modern Languages prize in her final year.

    What did you enjoy the most about studying at Essex?

    I really enjoyed the whole experience but what first attracted me to Essex was the general atmosphere and feel of the campus. Everyone I met on the open day I attended was really helpful and the whole place had a real community feel, with lots of different types of people all together in one place.

    What did you do after leaving Essex?

    After leaving Essex I completed a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) in Modern Foreign Languages at Canterbury Christ Church University and am now a fully-qualified teacher of French and Spanish at a secondary school in Medway, Kent.

    How did studying languages at Essex help you achieve your current role?

    Apart from the obvious in that I needed to be able to speak languages in order to teach them, during my time at Essex I had the opportunity to meet, study with and become friends with lots of native speakers of many different languages, giving me a greater appreciation of other cultures and languages in general. The year I spent abroad was also invaluable - I gained a unique insight into French and Italian cultures and my skills in both languages increased hugely during my time in those countries.

    What other skills did you learn at Essex that helped you?

    At Essex I was a Frontrunner http://www.essex.ac.uk/frontrunners/ and ran the MFL Film Club www.facebook.com/ModernLanguagesFilmClub - this meant I could indulge my love of foreign films and provide this free entertainment service for all Essex students - all whilst being paid for it! I learned to problem-solve as well as design posters and advertise the films each week.

    What advice would you give to students currently studying languages?

    Make the most of it! Your time at Essex will probably be the best years of your life and it's all over far too quickly. Make sure you take advantage of all the societies and opportunities Essex has to offer - as well as studying hard, of course!

    Ross Thorpe, MFL teacher (BA Spanish Studies and Modern Languages)

    Ross Thorpe

    Ross graduated with BA Spanish Studies and Modern Languages in 2011 and now works as a MFL teacher.

    What did you enjoy the most about studying at Essex?

    The courses were so varied and interesting and you got to know the other people on your degree course really well. I loved the community feel of the university, the strong friendships you could make and the opportunity to socialise with people from so many different countries.

    What did you do after leaving Essex?

    After leaving Essex, I started a PGCE and completed my year of school-based teacher training for Spanish and French.

    How did studying languages at Essex help you achieve your current role?

    A degree in languages was a prerequisite of the teacher training course I wanted to do. The high standard of teaching at Essex has provided me with a lifelong skill and the confidence to now teach languages to others.

    What other skills did you learn at Essex that helped you?

    Essex not only helped majorly build upon my language skills, it also provided me with organisation skills and the ability to prioritise and work under pressure. Socially, it improved my communication skills and gave me the confidence to not only meet new people, but to explore the world and learn about other cultures.

    What advice would you give to students currently studying languages?

    Remember that language learning is an ongoing process which doesn't end when your degree finishes. Work hard and enjoy every moment because the lessons you learn here are invaluable; I will never forget my days at Essex and am forever thankful for all the amazing things I have achieved because of it!

    Postgraduate

    • Elena Agar (BA Modern Languages, MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling)

      I chose Essex because it is a multicultural university that offers a great range of courses. Foreign languages fascinate me and I wanted to work with languages on a professional level. Essex enabled me to do just that.

      The whole study experience was a great one - from excellent facilities to professional yet very friendly staff, who helped me along my journey from the very first day and stayed behind me until the day I received my Master’s diploma!

      Everyone is very friendly and professional in the Language and Linguistics department. My tutors were not only teachers, but I knew there were there for me when I needed help and we are in touch to this day. I found some incredible people in both the staff and the fellow students.

      I now work in central London for one of the biggest localisation companies in the UK. We work with Netflix, BBC, Channel 4 and many more big names out there. It’s a fascinating role and I have met a lot of wonderful people. All thanks to Essex!

      If you love languages and want to work in a localisation field, do not hesitate to choose Essex. Many of my colleagues couldn't find a degree that teaches translation with Trados, interpreting and subtitling, all as part of one course, like Essex.

    • Max Green (MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling)

      Max Green

      My course at Essex was the perfect preparation and launchpad for my career. The first-rate facilities and teaching made for a great learning experience. I also had great fun working with fellow students from all over the world on a wide-array of TIS projects.

      One element of the course I found particularly useful was the real-life work experience offered. For example, carrying out group translations for local businesses, or live interpreting at university conferences. These opportunities were a great taste of the real thing and the experience has been invaluable.

      After graduating from the MA, I have gone on to work in all three fields at some point. I spent one year working as a freelance translator – mainly translating legal documents and certificates. I was able to put my SDL Trados training to good use and even took advantage of a discount offered to graduates.

      For the past year, I have been working for Ericsson Access Services in Spain as a subtitler. I work on a daily basis with the same software used in the subtitling modules at Essex. Although a large chunk of the work deals with captioning programmes for deaf and HOH, we are occasionally asked to produce intralinugal subtitles.

      Finally, I also work as a freelance interpreter and am regularly hired by the Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra to interpret for foreign musicians and composers. My training at Essex has given me the ability and confidence to interpret in high-pressure situations. A highlight so far was interpreting for an interview with an American composer that was broadcast on Spanish state television.

    • Lena Mueller (MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling - German strand)

      Lena Mueller

      The Masters course here is truly unique due to both its focus on all three disciplines and in the execution of the degree. No other university offers this many opportunities to use interpreting equipment or the possibility of training your interpreting skills by interpreting live lectures on a multitude of subjects ranging from politics to psychology. State-of-the-art software for subtitling and CAT tools are also available. Due to the small size of the classes, it's easy to get quality time with your tutor, both during and outside of classes.

      Essex not only offers you an excellent theoretical education, but you also get the chance to practice what you have learned in real-life situations. Interpreting mock conferences are held every term, and in between you may get the chance to interpret a lecture by a visiting lecturer or for visiting dignitaries or sports personalities.

      Every year the Department of Language and Linguistics teams up with a local translation company and a local business to offer a translation challenge with a prize for the winner. Also, the department frequently organises seminars, workshops and even a visit to the Interpreting Department of the EU, which allows students to get in contact with professionals.

      Essex prepares you for the real life out there. It shows you, that being a translator or interpreter or subtitler does not automatically mean that you have to work freelance or for an agency or a governmental body. It shows you that there are many applications for this degree across the industries (I now work as a translator for a global company dealing with corporate gift cards!), governmental agencies, embassies, as project managers or PAs, in the Sales sector, Retail or Tourism.

      The University of Essex is a great place to study and you will love it.

    • Emma Clarke (MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling - German strand)

      Emma Clarke

      I applied for this course eight years after completing my undergraduate degree. I was worried about being older than everyone else, and about being able to manage the workload around having a toddler, but neither was an issue, and the atmosphere amongst staff and students on the course was fantastic.

      There is a good balance of practical and theoretical work, which encourages you to start thinking like a translator/interpreter/subtitler, and helps you to understand the why as well as the how.

      A variety of skills were taught within each discipline, with enough time devoted to each so that you begin to get a good grounding in each aspect. The course also provides you with the tools to develop and improve yourself. We were able to specialise in either translating, interpreting or subtitling for our dissertations. I hadn’t done a dissertation for my BA, so was unsure about where to begin, but the teaching staff were on hand to provide guidance and advice. The support available is second to none.

      The course was challenging for me, as I have never been confident in my speaking abilities, but it was manageable thanks to the positive and encouraging atmosphere created by the teaching staff, as well as the great sense of community amongst the students.

      Overall, this was a great experience and has made it possible for me to work from home as a freelance translator, which allows me to balance my work and family life. It has also opened up the possibility to study for a PhD, which is an exciting prospect.

    • Nicholas Cumberbatch (MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling)

      Nicholas Cumberbatch

      What made Essex my first and only choice was the fact that they offered this unique Masters program—an MA in Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling (TIS). Many universities offer the first two disciplines in one course but the subtitling component really piqued my interest.

      The course offers a great deal of variety and practicality. I was able to acquire skills and knowledge through preparing speeches and interpreting at student-led conferences, engage classmates in translation challenges, attend seminars and network with industry professionals. State-of-the-art facilities such as interpreting booths and specifically-tailored computer labs only added to the authentic feel of a translator/interpreter setting.

      I was always drawn to the warmth and friendliness of the staff of the department of Language and Linguistics. The Department is replete with such persons, as well as knowledgeable lecturers who are quite accessible and genuinely caring in their approach. There are also adequate social spaces in the department, whether you want to have lunch with friends, get your next coffee fix or if you’re like me and fancy working in an area that’s not a lab or the library.

      After finishing my degree and returning to my native Barbados, I successfully conducted a workshop on subtitling for final year translation students at my former university. After that, I was able to put my translation skills to good use through freelance work for hotels and various government departments. But, I think my proudest achievement to date has been interpreting at a 3-day conference on youth unemployment in agriculture facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Barbados. As I’m about to embark on a job in foreign affairs, I can say that you just have to be open to the possibilities of where the MA in TIS can take you, and the opportunities will come.

    • Jenny Higgs (MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling)

      Jenny Higgs

      My MA year at Essex provided me with a well-rounded and enriching experience that I feel equipped me with many transferable skills and helped me to enter my current role as a Subtitler for the deaf and hard of hearing for Ericsson Access Services in Seville, Spain.

      I instantly felt at home at the University. I loved the international feel of the campus and the openness and friendliness that seems to greet you. You can constantly hear different languages being spoken around you and, needless to say, it’s very easy to find a language exchange partner to practice with.

      Although the MA in Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling entailed a lot of hard work, I loved the combination of all three practices because it provided a lot of variety and expanded my expertise in not one but several linguistic fields. I also found that it struck the perfect balance between theory and practice.

      The classes focused largely on collaborative learning in small groups which attributed to a dynamic, engaging and interesting learning environment. We had plenty of opportunities to put our newly learned skills into practice outside of the usual classes. A translation challenge organised between the department and a local business presented us with a real-life opportunity to tackle a commercial translation. The mock interpreting conferences tested our interpreting as well as our public speaking abilities in a more pressured setting. Frequent workshops by professionals in the fields of translation, interpreting and subtitling gave us more insight into what these industries are really like to work in.

      Outside of my specific course, the Department of Language and Linguistics also offered many other interesting opportunities. This included a speed networking event with former graduates from the department in a wide variety of different job roles and a Language For All programme where you can learn an additional language alongside your course.

      After completing my course at Essex University, I felt thoroughly prepared to enter the world of work and eager to explore the many possible career paths open to me.

    • Antonella Alterio (MA Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling)

      My year at Essex was just perfect.

      Graduating student

      As soon as I got to the University, I felt at home. The atmosphere is welcoming and warm, you live in an international environment and get the chance to meet people from all over the world and I think this is one of the best things ever.

      The University provides space where you can organize barbeques and parties. The Library offers well-managed and diverse collections of books and it is the perfect place to study in a relaxed environment.

      There is a real sense of community, people always gather in the squares which are, according to me, a great social area where a lot happens. The friends that I made here are the best I could have ever asked for and we became a real 'international' family.

      In my course, lessons were interesting and captivating, the teachers are all professional and talented, we were always having fun. In the year, I learned a lot professionally and personally. Our interpreting lesson was held in LTB6, equipped with booths for the simultaneous interpretation. I felt like I was in a real conference! The Department has a nice social space where all the linguistics students can meet and have lunch together and where language events are hosted, like the 'Italian Café'

      I would definitely recommend this place and this program to anyone. Essex is truly amazing and Colchester is just one hour from London!

    • Paolo Rolleri (MA Translation and Literature)

      I found the MA in Translation and Literature at the University of Essex a perfect balance between these two disciplines. Thanks to this one year course I could carry on working on my greatest passion: literature but at the same time I have gained the necessary skills and experience to become a professional translator.

      Moreover, I found supportive and professional teachers and a gentle and kind staff always ready to help you during and after the year spent there. Last but not least, the experience at the University of Essex will remain forever in my heart for the moments of fun lived in the fabulous campus with friends from all around the world.

    • Juana Silva Puerta (MA Translation and Literature)

      It was the application process that convinced me to study at Essex, as I felt I was treated as a person and not only as an applicant: I had an hour-long Skype conversation with my future supervisor and each member of the community I approached was welcoming.

      I chose to study this course because it is one of the very few in England that offers the possibility to approach literature and translation from a multidisciplinary perspective.

      Since graduating, I have translated two books on contemporary art and I'm currently working as an English teacher in one of the most prestigious universities in my country.

      My time at Essex helped me define the type of professional I want to be, it allowed me to explore my field of studies more deeply and it gave me the opportunity to see the world from a multicultural perspective, which is invaluable for a translator.

    • English language and linguistics

      Undergraduate

      • Makayla Braddy, Trainee Solicitor, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (BA English Language)

        Makayla BraddyMakayla graduated with a BA English Language in 2009 and gained a training contract with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

        What was good about your course at Essex?

        I loved having the freedom to tailor my modules to match my interests. My lecturers were passionate about their subjects and were always friendly and approachable, while the research focus of the Department also meant that the content of the course was really up-to-date.

        What did you do after leaving Essex?

        I completed work experience with a local legal firm and attended open days and workshops at a range of city law firms. I then gained a training contract with Freshfields. I have gained my Graduate Diploma in Law and just completed the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

        How relevant is your course to your current role?

        Having a much more in-depth knowledge of both the English language and communication in general is very relevant to a legal career. For example, my studies in pragmatics and syntax are relevant with regard to drafting, whilemy studies in conversation analysis help with regard to negotiating and interviewing. Many of the skills I acquired during my course at Essex are also very useful, particularly the analytical and research skills I developed.

        What do you find most interesting/enjoyable about your job?

        I was attracted by the challenging environment and ever-evolving nature of law, as well as the fact that I can use many of the things I learnt during my course in my job. Commercial law matches my interest in business and also provides the international element and variety that I was looking for in a career.

        What tips would you give to students who are starting their course?

        I would highlight how important it is to try hard from the first year. Although it doesn't always go towards your final grade, law firms ask for a breakdown of grades across your degree and so all years are scrutinised. Make the most of the many extracurricular activities available (as well as focusing on the academic side of things) as they can help to develop you into a more rounded individual and mean you stand out.

        What advice would you give to graduates starting their job hunt?

        Be open minded about what it is you want to do and don't feel limited by the subject matter of your course.

      • Jenna Leonard, Assistant Editor, Cambridge University Press (BA Language and Communication)

        Jenna graduated with a BA Language and Communication in 2006. She now works as an Assistant Editor in the English language teaching section at Cambridge University Press.

        Why did you choose to study with us?

        My interest in linguistics started at sixth form. Essex was a simple choice; it was a small campus university with a world-class linguistics department.

        Briefly describe your life at Essex.

        My social life at Essex was very full! I instantly found friends that I had more in common with than anyone else I'd ever met before. Academically I found my course enjoyable, challenging and well supported.

        What did you do after leaving Essex?

        Upon leaving Essex, I took a temporary planning enforcement job with my local council, whilst trying to becoming a music journalist on the side. I then, after nine months, started working as a research officer for an education charity.

        How relevant is your course to your current role?

        My course couldn't be more relevant. I find myself referring back to previous lectures on corpus linguistics, TEFL and phonetics on a daily basis.

        What other skills did you learn at Essex that have helped you?

        It was at Essex that I got a taste for writing and editorial work. I honed these skills through work with The Rabbit, the student newspaper. This also led to several years working part-time on various music publications.

        What do you find most interesting/enjoyable about your job?

        Working on English language teaching print and online publications is different every day. You might be desk editing one day, going to an audio recording the next, producing an e-learning video the following day. It's constantly interesting and challenging.

        What advice would you give to current students who may be seeking work?

        Work experience is key! I was lucky to find an entry level position in which I could work my way up, but posts like that don't come up very often. Work experience gives you the chance to gain experience and make those all-important contacts.

        What are the best memories of your time at Essex?

        My best memories of Essex are indie nights, good friends and summers spent sitting by the lake.

        If you could have your time at Essex again, would you do anything differently?

        I'd have tried to get work experience in the field of publishing much sooner. I'd known for years that it was what I wanted to do but I thought I could just gain an entry level job easily.

        How would you summarise your time at Essex?

        I had a brilliant three years, met some interesting people, learned things that will stay with me for life (both academically and otherwise) and grew up a lot.

      • Natalia Tonkins, Marketing and Submissions Officer, Bouygues UK (BA English Language and Literature)

        Natalia Tonkins

        Natalia graduated with a BA English Language and Literature in 2009 and now works in marketing.

        What did you do after leaving Essex?

        I joined some temping agencies in London in order to earn money whilst gaining valuable work experience. One of the companies I was temping for then me offered a permanent job. From my experience, employers admired the fact that I was working whilst seeking permanent employment, instead of sitting at home doing nothing and waiting for something to come up.

        How relevant is your course to your current role?

        As Marketing and Submissions Officer, I am required to be thorough and assist the bid and project teams in preparing bid tender responses for private and public sector construction contracts. I assist in writing, editing and proofreading the bid content to ensure that our responses meet the client's requirements and best demonstrate the company's experience and company ethos. I maintain and implement the company brand guidelines in marketing materials and bid responses, and design and format the bid submissions.

        What was good about your course at Essex?

        My lecturers were helpful and at your disposal if you needed advice and support. This is something I would advise students to take advantage of. I also enjoyed the University campus life, with everything on one campus.

        What other skills and experience did you gain at Essex that have helped you?

        I gained analytical skills, experience of working to deadlines and a confident approach to working on my own initiative. The University of Essex encourages independence, debate and research.

        What do you find most interesting about your job?

        I enjoy being part of a large, expanding international organisation. Bouygues UK is of French heritage and it is great to experience working with different cultures. I find the construction industry interesting because, as a company, we are working to deliver something tangible that will make a difference to the communities in which we build, whether it is providing a new school, hospital, housing or new student accommodation!

        What tips would you give to students who are starting their course in terms of what they might gain from the University experience?

        Join the societies and clubs on offer, it is a great way to make friends when you first start and is also something extra you can add to your CV that demonstrates your personal interests and can benefit future employment. I joined the University newspaper in my first year as a contributor and, in my second year, became the editor of the music section. This gave me experience of working with the editorial team and managing a team of contributors.

        What advice would you give to graduates starting their job hunt?

        Remember, although you have studied you do not have work experience and it is for you to prove to an employer why they should invest their time and money in you. This is why extracurricular activities or summer work placements will impress them, as they demonstrate commitment and a good work ethic.

        Join a recruitment agency - it is better to see them in person to register. Specify what type of roles you are interested in and if you are offered temporary work take it; it is all valuable experience that can be added to your CV. It is also an opportunity to network, and you may be remembered and contacted in future should a permanent role become available.

        Don't give up. It can be exhausting when you are trying to sell yourself via a job application but you must remember your achievements and believe in yourself.

      • Postgraduate

        • Claire Jones, Research Fellow (BA, MA, PhD English Language and Linguistics)

          Claire completed her BA English Language and Linguistics in 2003, MA Sociolinguistics in 2005 and PhD English Language and Linguistics in 2008. She is now a Research Fellow at Kings College London.

          Why did you choose to study with us?

          Essex is one of the best universities for studying language and linguistics. I also liked the number of clubs and social events the University had to offer.

          Briefly describe your life at Essex.

          I enjoyed studying in my Department. The lecturers were really helpful and encouraged me to stay in academia. I found my courses really interesting and so many of the things I learnt at Essex are useful to me now.

          How relevant is your course to your current role?

          All the research skills I learnt throughout my course, and through my Masters and PhD, have enabled me to work in very different environments. I wouldn't be able to do my job now without that solid grounding.

          What other skills did you learn at Essex that have helped you?

          I learnt how to do presentations and make them interesting to the audience! I gained important skills in how to plan and prepare workshops. I also learned how to get on with lots of different people and develop good working relationships.

          What advice would you give to current students who may be seeking work?

          I would suggest seeing a careers advisor, as well as thinking about the skills and interests you have. There's so many different jobs out there that you may not have thought of (I didn't know mine existed at first!).

          What are the best memories of your time at Essex?

          The end of exams party was always the highlight of the year. My other favourite memory is sitting by the lake with my friends and enjoying a beer on a sunny day.

          If you could have your time at Essex again, would you do anything differently?

          I would have worked a bit harder in my first year.

          How would you summarise your time at Essex?

          I loved being at Essex. I met some fantastic people who I am still close friends with. I think I got the balance between playing hard and working hard pretty good!