Anthropology alumnus highlights career opportunities for graduates
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
How does Anthropology lead you to a career in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) or the Civil Service? Alumnus Paul Collinson recently returned to Oxford Brookes to give a talk to current Anthropology students on the unique perspective which the subject gives.
Paul read for a Postgraduate Social Anthropology degree at Oxford Brookes and graduated with a PhD in 1994. His thesis topic was: ‘Development, local politics and the "new Europe" in County Donegal: an ethnographic study'.
Commenting on his his experience at the university, he said:
“It was fantastic and the quality of teaching was really high.” Paul admits that the link to the MOD and Civil Service was not apparent at first:
“This was not my intended work path - I worked in record shops before I started Postgraduate studies. Someone I worked with suggested the idea.”
Paul has since gone on to work at a senior level in the Civil Service. In terms of employability, he summed up the subject’s strong points:
“Anthropology teaches you to write well. You also gain methodological and qualitative skills, within the social sciences. These are transferable skills, alongside communication; you have to work together and build relationships. The methods you are taught, such as creating a literature review, train you to develop a holistic approach.”
Paul’s tips for students interested in careers in the Civil Service are the following:
- Do summer internships to gain exposure to the Civil Service.
- Attend the Houses of Parliament with topics relevant to study.
- Make an application that will stand out, interesting, unusual, everything you've done; think laterally, outside of your degree.
Oxford Brookes has raised the profile of employability, with the appointment of a dedicated member of staff with a brief to ensure industry links across subjects.