History and History of Medicine MA Alumni Evening
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
On Tuesday 25 October, five former students on the History and History of Medicine MAs returned to Brookes to present to the current cohort of students and staff within the department about their careers and life after the MA. Their enthusiasm and experience provided invaluable insights into the variety of careers available to history graduates and the widely applicable skills which are developed through MA study.
Huw Bradbury, who progressed from the MA to a PGCE for secondary school history teaching at the University of Oxford, outlined the nature of that qualification, its rewards and challenges, and the ways in which the MA had developed his profile as an applicant for teacher training, his skills as an original thinker and practitioner of history and his own confidence. Sarah Cox, an archivist for the Red Cross in London, described her key responsibilities in her current role, the career path to becoming an archivist (including a specialist MA) and the skills developed on the History MA, particularly self-discipline, determination, time management and self confidence. Both Huw and Sarah described the work experience they had undertaken alongside the MA and emphasised how useful that had been for enhancing their profiles. Finally, Hannah Dolton described her recently won job in publishing and highlighted the important personal and organisational skills that allowed her to excel in that role, whilst illustrating that her job allowed her to maintain an interest in history, by coming into contact with cutting-edge historical research in the form of new titles.
Two current PhD students (Anna Gordon and Catriona Gilmour Hamilton) reflected on continuing with postgraduate study, the challenges of finding funding, the ways in which to use the MA as an opportunity to learn skills and ideas about professionalization and why it was that they felt strongly motivated about their areas of research.
Current MA students enjoyed the opportunity for informal discussion, and overall the group was left with a very positive impression of the tangible benefits of MA study in History and History of Medicine.