With Christmas swiftly descending upon me, and the door closing upon an eventful 2014, I would like to take a chance to reflect on where I have come from and where I hope to go; both academically and professionally.
I have spent two years studying at Aberystwyth University, achieving consistent 2:1s in a variety of modules which have challenged and stimulated my mind. During my time, I have developed my writing skills and ability to establish a well structured argument. Research, of course, has featured heavily during my studies and I have found it to be refreshing and exciting. Channelling my motivation and focus on to projects such as research is something quite wonderful, and with my undergraduate dissertation to complete, I am very happy to return to studies in January. I have an assignment to complete over Christmas on Victorian Childhoods, plus reading to do for my dissertation; there certainly won’t be a dull moment this festive season. My dissertation will focus on Nationalism in Irish literature (particularly Romanticism) and examine how socio-political factors affected the themes and tone of literature at the time. I have had a keen interest in the history of the Irish fight for independence from Britain, and Irish literature is an area I’ve wanted to explore more. That the period of interest falls in the Romantic period is an added bonus, as it is my favourite era of writing. In some respects, I will be drawing a comparison between Irish and British Romanticism; James Clarence Mangan and Thomas Davis against John Keats and Percy Shelley. It is a project I am really looking forward to writing, and once my assignment and exam is out of the way, I will begin drafting the first chapter.
As for my professional career, the time has come to begin applying for graduate jobs. I will raise my hand and admit that during my time at University, my participation in work experience could have been stronger. Although I am proud of what I have done –
Working behind a bar for a few weeks
Working at Next as part of the Sales Support team during the summer.
Being a Treasurer of the English and Creative Writing society; managing finances and liaising with sponsors.
Creating their new website as part of that.
I do feel I could have partaken in more, or at least applied for more opportunities. But this is essentially where most people lack confidence: they are quicker to highlight their flaws and lack of experience than to boast their skills and passion. I, like everyone else, am guilty of this. But I have taken it upon myself to give more attention to my passion and maintain a resilient attitude. I wish to enter the field of advertising, perhaps one day being part of a marketing team that creates the likes of the recent John Lewis advert (Monty the penguin was top class.) I have spoken to careers advisors, read books and articles, and analysed case studies of those who have been successful in this field. I am learning more and more every day, and applying this new knowledge to my quest for a successful career. My goals for 2015, therefore, are as follows:
To complete my dissertation and degree with a 2:1, to pass my driving test and to secure myself a graduate job/place on a graduate scheme. Everything else, such as personal happiness, will follow if I can get my career on the right track. But one thing I know for sure is that I have to be both patient and resilient. Success certainly isn’t achieved overnight, but by working it at consistently every day and having the burning passion to go out there and achieve it.
As Walt Disney once said: “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friend.” This reflects the attitude I have, and the passion I strive to maintain and exhibit in my future career.