School of English
   
   
  

Graduate Profiles

Our graduates are among the best in the country and move into an extraordinarily wide range of careers. Some go into media work (publishing, TV research or journalism), marketing, law, accountancy or librarianship. Others become school teachers, teachers of English as a foreign language or university lecturers, while our well-developed links to the creative industries and the heritage and tourism sector provide great opportunities for students wishing to work in those areas.

The number of School of English graduates securing graduate-level employment or graduate-level further study increased from 71.1% in 2012-13 to 81.4% in 2013-14.
(Graduate Employment Statistics (GEMS) for the School of English, 2015)

Below you can find profiles from some of our recent graduates.

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Media (Television, Radio, Film, Theatre and Digital) 

Anthony-Lau
Anthony Lau 
BA Hons English 
Laboratory Associate Director (Nuffield Theatre)

My time at Nottingham was very much a formative experience for me - coming to university I knew that I probably didn't want to graduate and go straight into a 9-5 office job but I had little idea about what I actually wanted to do. I had flirted with notions of journalism or some sort of creative writing career but in my heart of hearts I didn't really like my own writing. Somewhat of a problem I suspect if one wants to be a writer! What Nottingham allowed me was an opportunity to cut my teeth on lots of different things, room to explore and to try and fail.

I had always been involved with theatre and after the numerous distractions of my first year I found myself becoming increasingly active with the New Theatre, first as a writer/director and then very quickly just as a director. It was the thing that held me and I must confess that in retrospect I probably spent too much time in the theatre and not enough in the Hallward. That said, theatre directing is still the thing that I do now- that has lasted well beyond university and how I earn my living.

After graduating, I went on to train at LAMDA and have since been working as a freelance director. I've been the Assistant Director on productions at the Young Vic, Royal Court, Chichester Festival Theatre and BAM, in New York. I have also directed productions in London, the UK and Europe and have just joined the Nuffield Theatre as their Laboratory Associate Director as part of the BBC Performing Arts Fellowship scheme.

The University Of Nottingham and the New Theatre set me on my way by allowing me to make mistakes and take risks in a safe environment and push myself imaginatively and creatively. Much is made of the Oxbridge presence within theatre and the arts but actually many of my peers in the years above and below are doing extremely well in theatre and there is a plethora of theatre directors and makers from a generation or two above me who are the brightest lights in the British theatre scene at the moment.

The University Of Nottingham allowed me the time and opportunity to discover what I really wanted to do but more importantly it gave me the means to try and fail in a supportive environment- something that is much more exposing and sorely missed now!

 
KateEfomi
Katie Efomi (nee West)
BA Hons English

Freelance Film Script Supervisor

During university vacations I worked hard to get as much experience as I could in the general media and when I graduated I went straight on to a job at the BBC in Birmingham working on lifestyle shows and Asian Network documentaries. My next step was to move to Glasgow to work with the BAFTA and EMMY Award-winning director, Norman Stone. I started out as his PA but as it was a small company I got to do everything from organising his film premiere to going on a research trip to Gibraltar, to publicising his work at the Cannes Film Festival - a dream come true!  

I script-supervised on his feature, Man Dancin' and enjoyed it so much that I've now stepped into the freelance world to do it full time. The job gives me prime place next to the camera and director so I can watch and analyse techniques and methods being used. I'm always learning. I now work with 1A Productions and am involved in finding and securing funding and project development. I have also recently produced the 1A documentary, Old MacDonald's Farm, for BBC Scotland. Four years in-the-making, the film was directed by Jamie Stone and narrated by Sally Magnusson.

My time at Nottingham was a rich and healthily challenging experience. The modular English course was flexible and varied enough to humour my love for film, drama and performance whilst giving me a solid grounding in the more traditional areas of the subject.

UPDATE: Kate is currently a producer and project manager for Glasgow-based A1 Productions. Her television documentary Old MacDonald's Farm was broadcast on BBC2 Scotland in January 2013.

 
GabriellaDeMatteis
Gabriella De Matteis
BA Hons English

Development Editor (Igloo Books)

I've always wanted to work with books, and after graduating in June 2011, I set out to find work experience at a publishing house. I achieved this in August 2011, and after a month of editorial work experience at Igloo Books Ltd, I was offered a job as an Assistant Editor.  

Igloo Books is a publishing house that specialises in children's books, and within my role as an editor, I oversee many aspects of the publishing process. I write stories, edit the writing of others, and work with illustrators and graphic designers to create an overall good-looking product. After 11 months as Assistant Editor, I was promoted to my current position of Development Editor.

As Development Editor, I project manage the publication of books, from concept development through to print. I write, edit and proofread text for children's and adults' titles, and am responsible for ensuring that deadlines are met without compromising on quality. I collaborate with designers, illustrators, illustration agencies, production staff, writers and other editors to create beautiful children's and adult's books.

Studying English at Nottingham helped me gain valuable skills in writing, proofreading and time management, and it's wonderful to be able to work with books every day.

 
Laura Lomas
Laura Lomas
BA Hons English

Playwright

I went straight from school to university with a really strong desire to learn and soak up as much as possible. The structure of the course at Nottingham allows you to access and interrogate a wealth of theories and disciplines that not only underpin the way we see literature and art, but also the way we understand ourselves and our own context, both global and local. 

I started writing in my first year. The University has always had a strong link with Nottingham Playhouse, and I learned about a writing class that was taking place there in one of my drama lectures. Throughout my time at Nottingham my tutors were always incredibly supportive and genuinely interested in my writing. Having that encouragement early on, from tutors I really respected was very important to me when I first started writing. 

With the support of my tutors at Nottingham I was awarded an AHRC research scholarship to study an MPhil in playwriting at Birmingham University. I've been commissioned by Nottingham Playhouse Roundabout and the De Noske Theatre, Oslo to write a children's play to be produced in both Nottingham and Norway. I've recently been selected for the Paines Plough Future Perfect '09 scheme for which I'm writing a collaborative piece for Latitude Festival with 5 other writers.

 
EdMayhew_new
Ed Mayhew
BA Hons English

Writer and Performer

I currently work supporting an arts charity, Morphe Arts, which helps graduates as they step out in the world of work in the arts - in particular I run a writer's group.

I'm also writing and performing comedy and poetry. I'm in a sketch group called Making Faces. Making Faces is a comedy group trio whose latest show Introspectacles will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. Together we write and perform sketches, stand-up, poetry and songs. We performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010 and again in 2011.

My aim as a writer is not necessarily commercial success, but writing high quality literature and comedy which people enjoy revisiting again and again. English at Nottingham allowed me to explore diverse areas of thinking, historical context, story-telling and satire, and showed me what I'm really passionate about.

 
FreyaEdenEllis
Freya Eden-Ellis
BA Hons English

TV and Film Production Manager

After graduating I started working as a runner on short films. After a stint as a production assistant on a low budget horror feature, I was completely in love with the job. Since then I've had the opportunity to work some fantastic filmmaking talent as an assistant for the former UK Film Council short film fund, and have worked my way up to the position of Production Manager on documentaries that have aired on the likes of the BBC and Channel 4. This job involves supporting the producer and director from commission right through to delivery. I co-ordinate the post-production on the programme, and then oversee its delivery to the broadcaster when it's complete.

With this job, I've had the pleasure to meet some incredible people, gain privileged access to locations and artefacts, and travel to fantastic places. It's hard work, and there have been trying moments, but it is ultimately incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Working as part of a crew is the most fun you can have, even when time is short and the pressure is on (which it always is!).

As part of my degree, I took the Creative Writing module, and this is still something I'm pursuing. I think it's an industry in which you can move around and if you are determined enough you can succeed in multiple disciplines and roles, which is part of why it is so exciting.

 

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Journalism and Publishing

Pete-Cary
Peter Cary 
BA Hons English 

Assistant Editor for Literature/ Theatre & Performance at Palgrave Macmillan

Perhaps above all else, my time studying English at Nottingham helped to develop my writing and editorial skills in a way that now allows me to truly engage with the subject in front of me – whatever it happens to be at the time. When I first left university like many people I spent a few months searching for permanent work whilst temping and I think it's important that graduates don't feel trapped if that happens to them: it's a chance to explore different industries and get a feel for what you really want to do, or even just an opportunity to travel and make the most of being your own boss for a while.

I've been lucky enough to pursue a mix of full-time employment and my own creative projects in the past couple of years, going into Publishing for my living, which has always fascinated me, and writing plays in the evenings, which I've now had performed in cities across the UK. Macmillan has been a fantastic company to work for, for the breadth of areas that it publishes in, and my current role in academic titles with Palgrave means that I get to work with many of the people who guided me in my own writing back when I was a student – the same academics who taught me to write, and whose research encouraged me to think.

My years at Nottingham were among the happiest of my life and my greatest advice to anyone applying to study is to get the most out of your time there – academically, socially and personally. If you do that, you can't fail to grow as a result.

 
Dave Howard
Dave Howard
BA Hons English

Senior journalist at Radio One Newsbeat

I always wanted to work for BBC News, and I saw studying English as a vital stepping stone towards that goal. I was attracted to Nottingham not just by its beautiful setting and excellent reputation - but also by the (sadly fictional) stories of a 3:1 female to male ratio. I'm ashamed to say I spent much of my time there distracted from studies by the many extra-curricular activities on offer: I wrote for the student magazine, Impact, I was president of the charity appeal Karnival, and I had a regular show on URN. Nonetheless, I managed to scrape a 2:1, and I learned important lessons about prioritising, coping with pressure, and team-work.

On leaving Nottingham, I managed to get a place on Cardiff University's prestigious postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism. These courses are not cheap, and it's well worth researching which ones have good reputations - but a decent one will give you practical skills, legal awareness, confidence and contacts for an entry level job in the industry. The application process can be tough too - but the successful applicant will always be someone with a proven track-record of commitment to journalism as well as academic talent.

Years later, I'm a senior journalist at Radio One Newsbeat - and I'm about to deploy to New York for a six-month attachment as Radio One's US reporter. I love it. As a University of Nottingham graduate, you'll almost certainly be eligible for jobs that pay a lot better than mine does (think 'solicitor' or 'management consultant'!) - but you'll struggle to beat what I do for variety, unpredictability and excitement.

 
Olivia French
Olivia French
BA English with Creative Writing & MA English Literature

Marketing Executive (Home Trade) at HarperCollins UK

As well as improving my literary knowledge and skillset, studying English with Creative Writing allowed me to be part of a writing community for the first time, which was absolutely invaluable to my learning and development. As well as having my own work reviewed and critiqued regularly, I was able to learn about how other people write, what they write about and why, and how to generate feedback and communicate it in a helpful and productive way.

I was also afforded an incredible amount of opportunities when it came to extra-curricular activities: during third year I worked on placement as Production Manager for The Letters Page literary journal, and the year after that I worked on an internship at Writing East Midlands in the city centre. I also joined a student-led poetry performance group called Noumena, assisted on a primary school writing project with First Story, and helped out with productions at The Nottingham New Theatre. I had a busy and varied student life, and the combination of analytical, communication and time-management skills I gained are the ones I now use every day in my current job, as I work with all of the publishing divisions at HarperCollins and liaise with bookshops and independent organisations across the UK.

From supporting your studies and extra-curricular projects to providing pastoral care and career development, the staff at The University of Nottingham will support you from your very first day until long after you've left. During my time there I was able to work out what ambitions I had and work towards achieving them. It was an absolute privilege to spend four years studying there, and if you're thinking of doing the same, make sure you embrace every opportunity - there will be lots of them!

 

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Business Management

Lyndsay Parry
Lyndsay Parry
BA Hons English Studies

Business Management Graduate

I came to The University of Nottingham in 2006 to study English Studies, attracted by the diverse and varied course, beautiful campus and high reputation. I spent my education drifting from one career aspiration to the next and when I reached my final year I knew I wanted to move into employment after graduation but was unsure what in. We were in the depth of the economic recession, unemployment was up and graduate recruitment was down. I decided to try to gain a place on a Graduate Scheme as they offer a great transition from university to work, security and brilliant prospects.

In December 2008, I was offered a place on the Business Management stream of the BT Graduate Scheme. There is often a perception that you need a Business related degree however companies look for graduates from across different subjects. In any degree at The University of Nottingham students learn transferable skills, such as researching, timekeeping and working under pressure. In particular, an English Studies degree develops your writing, analytical and communication skills. These lessons are invaluable in the business world.

In September 2009, I joined one of the world's largest telecommunications companies. The BT Graduate Scheme has been the ideal stepping stone, providing a wealth of development and training. It is a rotational scheme, meaning that I spend two years moving around different placements. It gives me the opportunity to try different things and gain a firm grounding in the company. There is also an excellent Graduate Community that you share your experiences with.

My current role is in BT Vision, BT's television offering, in which I develop new projects and concepts. I will soon be moving to another role, which no doubt will be completely different and a new challenge. However, The University of Nottingham has provided me with the toolkit to take on any business role.

 

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Marketing and PR

Lauren-Wilson-Impression-graduate profile
Lauren Wilson
BA Hons English and French

Digital PR Account Executive (Impression)

PR wasn’t my childhood dream. In fact, until my final year at UoN, I was set on becoming a journalist. I was heavily involved with IMPACT magazine as both Arts editor and food editor, and had even started to research a journalism Masters. I then realised that it wasn’t my own thoughts/opinions/message that I wanted to convey through my writing, but that of someone else – a client. The PR world beckoned.

As a digital PR exec in a digital agency my work contributes to SEO (search engine optimisation) activity that increases the traffic to our clients’ websites, and ultimately, increases profit. The focus of my role is to secure coverage for our clients across the internet which both increases awareness of their brand and strengthens their website and, in turn, raises their position in the search engine results pages. I achieve this by generating and pitching stories to the online media in a variety of forms: press releases, blogs, interviews, infographics and other forms of interactive content. My ‘day-to-day’ involves lots of writing for different purposes, from website copy to white papers; client contact; brainstorming and the odd game of ping pong! I couldn’t ask for a better place to work: Impression and its team are driven, dynamic and growing.

I use my English degree every day. A strong essay presents an argument that succeeds in winning over the reader and encourages them to want more of your ideas. A central aim of my PR and copywriting work is to subtly persuade readers, or prospective customers, that my client’s offering is the best of the best. The same skills apply: structure, word choice, evidencing. Productive word choice is a big part of crafting a persuasive pitch to a journalist. PRs have just a few sentences to convince the reader that their idea is the strongest to arrive in the journalist’s inbox that day and the one that will be of most interest to their readers – it’s a real challenge, but a fun one, too!

 SarahHarrison
Sarah Harrison
BA Hons English

Marketing Assistant

After graduating I moved straight to Edinburgh where I had a job as a Business Development consultant for 10 months for a company called Meltwater. It was a fantastic experience to be thrown in at the deep end and move to a completely different city and I really loved Edinburgh.

However in April 2012, I decided I wanted to pursue Marketing and moved back down to London where I took up my current position as Marketing Assistant in MHA Macintyre Hudson. I am responsible for organising client events, seminars, entertainment, sponsorship and networking opportunities across the firm as well as co-ordinating proposals and pitches to bring new clients on board. I work alongside Partners to execute new strategies to encourage their growth and development. This can range from thinking up new mailing campaigns to implementing a social media strategy.

I really enjoy what I do although there are no particular set hours – if you have events, seminars or deadlines for campaigns then you work until they are finished. However I would definitely encourage anyone who has an interest in marketing to pursue it, as it is a really interesting industry and an English degree compliments it extremely well as, in many cases, you can put those valuable writing skills to very good use – from writing press releases to invites or content for the website.

 
RoseFox
Rose Fox
BA Hons English

PR Account Executive

Shortly after completing my degree I was contacted by Edelman, a Public Relations Agency I had registered with during a Graduate Careers day in my third year, which needed an intern to start immediately to help on a high profile crisis client.

I commenced on a hectic 6 week internship, and was then offered the chance to interview for a permanent position. After 2 years I have now been promoted to Account Executive. Edelman is the world's largest PR Company and I now work in reputation management with a wide variety of international brands. My day to day work is incredibly varied, as I work with the media to deliver positive press coverage for my clients, manage events and handle any issues they may have. My career means I have got to be a small part of important events in the UK, from the Jubilee to the London 2012 Olympic to the Leveson Inquiry.

My three years at Nottingham were everything I could have asked for. The English course is rich and varied, and allows the chance to explore great texts and academic debate, whilst crucially still leaving you with a solid degree that will open doors across a number of industries at the end of it. The beautiful campus, sports facilities, fantastic nightlife and societies such as Karnival mean Nottingham has every aspect of student life covered. I will always look back on the fond memories I have from my three years there.

 
ElizabethMather
Elizabeth Mather
BA Hons English

Senior Account Manager (Peppermint PR)

Since graduating in 2008, I've been working in PR. I'm currently a Senior Account Manager at a PR agency in Manchester. I've worked in two different agencies providing PR and marketing support for clients from a wide variety of sectors.

I have represented the UK as a delegate at the world's first global leadership summit, One Young World, which combined the social power of the internet with the energy and ideas of global youth to address the most challenging issues of today. Counsellors such as Kofi Annan, Bob Geldof, Professor Muhammad Yunus and Archbishop Desmond Tutu facilitated debate and dialogue between the delegates. The resolutions have been publicised and presented to the United Nations and the G-8 and G-20 summits, as well as businesses around the world.

Strong writing, analytical and creative skills are the foundations of a career in PR. My English degree, in particular the mixture of language and literature modules, set me up perfectly for a role in this industry. To succeed in PR, you need to be able to adapt your style of writing according to the audience, whether it's a press release or briefing document for an interview. You also need to be able to spot a news story and draw out the most interesting angle for readers. My English degree gave me the combined language and literature skills to tackle this head on.

 

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Law

AlfredLui
Alfred Lui
BA Hons English

Trainee Solicitor at Lawrence Graham LLP

After graduating in 2009, I studied the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Nottingham Law School based in Trent University. I secured my training contract with LG in summer of 2011 to start training in September 2012.

Finding myself with a gap year, I fell into an unusual but ultimately exciting and amazing area of work: Television. I worked for Ricochet, a TV production company, for 6 months as a runner and location assistant for Channel Five's "Cowboy Traders" and "Cowboy Builders". I then travelled for 2 months in China and America before moving to London and starting my training contract last September.

From the many skills I learnt from studying English, communication has been the most important since graduating. The ability to communicate complex ideas in clear and effective ways is a cherished one in the legal profession.

 

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Finance and Accountancy

RobJohnson2
Rob Johnson
BA Hons English Studies

I graduated with a BA in English Studies, and spent quite a while looking into possible careers in my final year. A lot of the obvious career paths for English graduates didn't appeal, so I looked further afield and realised there were a lot of roles in business and finance that were open to me. I therefore joined KPMG, the international professional services firm, to train as a chartered accountant. This allowed me to gain useful experience working with different companies, and gave me a good understanding of the business world. After qualification as an accountant I spent another 5 years at KPMG, getting involved in a wide variety of different projects, including an 18 month secondment to the firm's office in Christchurch, New Zealand, which gave me a fantastic opportunity to travel throughout Australasia.  

I came back to the UK and began working increasingly with the higher education sector, doing a mixture of financial advisory and consultancy work all over the country. An opportunity then came up for me to return to my roots and I took up a role working for The University of Nottingham, with responsibility for the financial management of the University's research and innovation activity. This gave me a fascinating insight into the huge range of research and commercial activity that goes on at the University. 

My work has involved managing a large team of people, and building effective relationships with people across the University and outside. I have found that the skills I learned in my English degree, such as communicating clearly and making sound critical judgements, are valuable in almost any walk of life, and have stood me in good stead throughout my career.

 
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Third Sector

SelineChristy
Selina Christy
BA Hons English and Hispanics

Company Director (Pulse Asia)

During my Year Abroad (third year) I split my time by first travelling to Shanghai to teach Spanish and then going on to undertake an ERASMUS placement in Barcelona. I believe this experience gave me the confidence to manage international projects and ultimately set up my own business in India and the UK.

I ran my own company, Pulse Asia, which offered training and travel opportunities in India, whilst supporting local communities. I worked closely with orphanages, schools and hospitals, providing them with a source of income and support as well as running structured volunteer programmes. I first became interested in voluntary work in my second year at Nottingham when, through my department, I took part in the Literacy Support Project which involved volunteering to teach after-school classes in the city centre.

I loved my time at Nottingham and found that that it prepared me well for the pressures of postgraduate study. My personal tutor and Head of School were very supportive in helping me make applications and consider what options would suit me best. The English portion of my degree was very varied and studying modules from Romanticism to Psychology of Second Language Acquisition gave me a broad grounding, allowing me to explore my interests in so many areas.

 

Heritage

EleanorMatthews
Eleanor Matthews 
BA (Hons.) English

Assistant Curator, Art (English Heritage)

A bookworm and would-be author from a very early age, it was a simple choice for me to read English at university. The course at Nottingham allowed me to expand my knowledge of all the corners of literary study, from drama, language and theory to Romanticism, postcolonial and medieval literature. It was the latter of these - medieval - which particularly captured my imagination. After graduating at Nottingham I read for an MSt in Medieval English Literature (650-1550) at the University of Oxford. Having immersed myself in the study of literature for four years, I then decided to find a field of work in which I could use my love and knowledge of literature and share this with others.

I gained a place on the prestigious internship scheme at The Wordsworth Trust in the Lake District, an organisation which comprises Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery. From there I moved to the National Trust to work at Nostell Priory & Parkland, where I developed a thorough understanding of all the different types of collections which create a country house - furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, social history, archives, and a wonderful library! To continue learning and acquiring knowledge every day has been an important part of my career choice.

I then moved to my current position as Assistant Curator, Art, for the northern territory of English Heritage, based at Brodsworth Hall & Gardens. My role involves managing historic house collections to encourage greater understanding and enjoyment through documentation, research, conservation, interpretation and display - and I use the writing, research, communication and organisation skills developed at Nottingham every single day. I have found myself creating exhibitions, moving ten thousand objects to a new collections store, and becoming a qualified fork lift truck driver!

Ultimately, studying English at Nottingham gave me the confidence, capability and curiosity to pursue a career as a historic house curator. And the would-be author? How was I to know that those first tentative essays would eventually lead to the publication of my own first book, One Girl and the Wainwrights (Ammanford: Sigma Press, 2014). The book follows my adventures as I walk, climb, and crawl up all 214 fells in the Lake District as described by notable fell walker Alfred Wainwright, and which I intend to develop into a series of walking-inspired travel literature around the British Isles. As a curator and writer, I couldn't be happier with the direction my studies at Nottingham have taken me. 

 

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School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924
email: english-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk