SECL Employability

Careers and employability support at SECL

Welcome to SECL’s Employability and Careers webpages. Here you will find information and advice on a range of ways to ensure you enjoy your time at Kent, increase your employability, and get a fantastic career once you leave.

On these pages you will find our Employability events calendar, which detail our programme of activities aimed at SECL students throughout term time.

 

Alumni Profiles

Callum Marius

English Language & Linguistics and French BA Hons

Callum Marius

Callum Marius - ELL & French BA Hons

Chargé de la Communication Client (Customer Communication Controller) - Eurostar

Why did you choose Kent?

The city of Canterbury is ideal for a student – close to the beach, close to London and for my degree, it massively helped being close to France! We also have an amazing campus which is a village of its own.

What attracted you to the course?

I loved the flexibility of the course. In my first year, I was able to study Arabic, I got to spend the third year in France and I could ‘orient’ myself towards the topics that interested me. In my final year, only one module is obligatory, so I jumped at the chance to specialise as soon as possible.

What was your degree course like? And what about the lecturers?

The course was perfect. All of our classes were the right size, the work was challenging and interesting and as for the lecturers, I got to know all of them on a name-to-name basis. They always had time for me and I had a great amount of respect for them.

How did your degree course lay the foundations for your chosen career path?

During my year abroad I lived on the Eurostar! Once a month I would take the train from St Albans (my home city) to Le Havre (where I was an English teacher for a year) and back. The colleagues, the multilingual environment and the ever-growing train geek meant that I jumped at a job-offer I got at Eurostar in Ashford during my final year. My interview was about 5 hours long, and was half in French, which I wouldn’t have been prepared for without my year abroad.

Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

Brief, but so far it has been amazing! On the very last week of lessons at university I was promoted to the role of ‘Chargé de la Communication Client’ (Customer Communication Controller) at the Eurostar Control Room in Lille, France – my current role.

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?

My role is very varied and every day is unique. Last week I worked from Paris, Brussels, Lille and London and had time to visit The Netherlands on my days off. My main responsibilities are ensuring that our customers are kept up-to-date consistently across all points of contact, in English, French and Dutch and to manage what Eurostar says to our customers during disruption. I do lots of project work to improve how we communicate with our customers throughout the business and have been really proud of the work I have done with some of our Train Managers who now use Twitter onboard – it really is the future of customer communication!

What are your future plans/aspirations?

At 22, I am extremely proud to be Eurostar’s youngest Control Room colleague and  hopefully, that means I have a good, successful career ahead of me here at Eurostar. 

 

Alyssa Bossom

Spanish and Business Administration BA Hons

Media Analyst - M-Brian

Why did you choose Kent?

I really liked the University campus at my open day. Canterbury is a great city too and it’s close to my hometown so I didn’t have to travel too far!

What was your degree course like? And what about the lecturers?

My degree course was very varied as I did a joint honours program, but it was enjoyable. In addition, my Year Abroad in Oviedo was a fantastic and invaluable experience.

How did your degree course lay the foundations for your chosen career path?

I can now speak Spanish at full professional proficiency level which gives me multiple and varied employment options.

Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

After leaving Kent in June 2015, I continued working in a hospitality role in Canterbury until I moved to Reading to work for M-Brain as a media analyst at the end of July. I recently passed my probation period early and will begin training as a senior media analyst.

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?

I translate and produce concise summaries in English of business and finance articles from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries for business clients. I am primarily responsible for Colombian sources.

What are your future plans/aspirations?

I hope to travel around Colombia and through Central America and continue to develop my career further whilst still using Spanish. I plan to learn another European language within the next few years.

 

Bob McKay

French BA

Bob McKay

Bob McKay - French BA

Assistant Principal - Folkestone School for Girls

Why did you choose Kent?

Since I was studying French, I wanted to be at a university near to continental Europe. It was appealing to be able to study at a ‘European University’ in the UK.

What attracted you to the course?

French had been a passion of mine long before I chose which uni I wanted to go to so I always knew that I would study it.

What was your degree course like? And what about the lecturers?

It was a really balanced course..., I got a great insight into French linguistics, literature & culture, and I even had a chance to study other languages and subjects. The lecturers were fascinating people but really down-to-earth, and I’m pleased to have been able to stay in contact with some of them.

How did your degree course lay the foundations for your chosen career path?

A degree in a modern foreign language was essential for my career. The content of the course has been invaluable in enabling me to carry out my job on a day-to-day basis.

Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

After Kent, I did a postgrad course in France whilst also training to be a teacher in the UK. I spent just under three years as a classroom teacher at Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre and am now Director of Learning for Modern Foreign Languages at The Folkestone School for Girls.

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?
Hectic! The life of a teacher is a busy one, but I don’t think I could give it up; being in a position to be able to infuse students with the same passion for languages that took me to study at Kent is such a privilege.

What are your future plans/aspirations?
I have an open mind: I’d like to progress further in my career but the draw of doing a PhD is also strong.

 

 

Nathan Sparkes

Philosophy BA - Graduated 2012

Policy and Parliamentary Manager - The Hacked Off Campaign

Why did you choose Kent?

I was very fortunate to end up at Kent... I liked how it was a campus university and yet so large and diverse.  Kent’s greatest virtue is ... a mix of backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities.  That’s what makes the University such a fantastic place to be.
 
What attracted you to the course?

I started to get into Philosophy in 6th Form- although I didn’t study at A Level.  I wasn’t any good at anything else, so Philosophy became a bit of a no-brainer.  It sounds unlikely, but I found philosophy to be relevant and useful in a way that, at least for me, wasn’t true of other subjects.
 
What was your degree course like? And what about the lecturers?

My degree course and lecturers were excellent.  They always had time for students, and would be ready to make time outside of office hours to help where necessary.  The courses were useful and well-structured, but more importantly they were interesting.
 
Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

I spent a year living in London after I graduated, doing a few different things.  I interned with an interfaith charity for five months, acted as a researcher for the director of a campaign group, and volunteered with an epilepsy mortality charity called SUDEP (“Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy”) Action.  SUDEP Action went on to offer me a fulltime policy role, which I did for about 9 months, before moving on to my present role as Policy and Parliamentary Manager for the Hacked Off Campaign. In my spare time I work on campaigns with a political party and try to make time to meet with and support people interested in a career in left-wing politics or the charity sector.
 
Could you describe a typical day in your current role?

No two days are the same, but broadly speaking, my role is to stay on top of political developments in press regulation and other policy areas covered by the Leveson Report.  It’s my job to ensure politicians are as well-informed as possible about issues relating to press regulation, and that they understand the feelings of the victims of press abuse.

What are your future plans/aspirations?

I enjoy working in politics, and will always want to be in a policy or political environment.  This could mean working for a political party or politician, or even having a crack at standing for office.  Wherever I am I want to be influencing the agenda and instigating change according to my beliefs.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone thinking of coming to Kent?

You will not find many other places with the diversity and breadth of opportunities there are at Kent.  I cannot recommend the place highly enough.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanadsparkes

 

Christine Fixmer

English Language and Linguistics BA - Graduated 2009

J.P.Morgan Bank - Luxembourg

Why did you choose Kent?

I had heard a friend at school talk about Kent before we all graduated from High School. After having seen a number of Universities, Canterbury seemed the most welcoming and I felt like home very quickly. Also, I had had a Lemon Cake at Essentials on visitors day and needed to go back to have some more.
 
What attracted you to the course?

I picked the course because it was what I was interested in studying. The variety of modules was great yet also very focused and serious.
 
What was your degree course like? And what about the lecturers?

My degree was very interesting... The lecturers were pretty much all you could have asked for: helpful, guiding, engaging, inspiring and friendly.
 
Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

Went to Goldsmiths University for the M.A. Tried to see if I could stick around in London but had 5 positive responses for interviews back in Luxembourg after starting to send my CVs there so I came back and have now officially been working for J.P. Morgan for 3 years.

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?

Busy busy busy! Upkeeping of shareholder register and Transfer Agency Tasks linked to the latter.
 
What are your future plans/aspirations?

I must admit I am unsure as teaching stopped being an option and I am now trying to find my way to make most of my studies and my work experiences.
 
Do you have any other happy memories of Kent that you would like to share with us?

Having been able to develop as a person, meeting lots of likeminded people. Cooking in the common kitchen after a good night out.
 

 

Tim Hailwood

Philosophy BA - Graduated 2009

Outreach Support Officer - Partnership Development Office, University of Kent

Why did you choose Kent?

I think the campus was the main selling point of Kent. It is a really nice place to be. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who came to visit and found the campus just felt right. I think it was pretty much the same for me.
 
What attracted you to the course?

The Philosophy course at Kent has loads of variety which means there are lots of different topics to get stuck into. I focussed mostly on ethical topics and philosophy of language but there were loads of other interesting modules which I could have gone for.
 
What was your degree course like? And what about the lecturers?

Because of the variety of topics the course was always interesting. There are lots of different personalities in the department so that always made the lectures engaging and interesting. Everyone has their own specialisms and they are all really passionate about them, this makes for really good teaching.

What social activities/extra-curricular activities did you get involved with during your time at Kent?

I played lots of hockey throughout my time studying. I ended up captaining a team one year and being chairman of the club for another. It was a really fantastic group of people to be involved with and there was always something going on.
I was also heavily involved with the Student Ambassador Scheme. It is a paid role that gives students a chance to work with local schools and support people in making decisions about University. The scheme has really grown since I studied and now has even more fantastic opportunities. I was able to develop really useful communication and public speaking skills. I gained a lot of confidence and experience so I was really glad I took part in it. You can find out more at http://www.kent.ac.uk/ambassadors/

How did your degree course lay the foundations for your chosen career path?

Philosophy gives you a really solid grounding in critical thinking and problem solving. This is something that I can take to any career I want to pursue. The skills that it taught me in terms of analysing and comparing solutions help me in any job I’m given.
 
Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

I didn’t actually leave Kent, I now work full time in the Partnership Development Office. My role involves developing and delivering activities to different groups in the local area as part of the University’s widening participation remit. There are a lot of people with the potential to study at University but don’t necessarily have the information to make a decision on whether they could or the confidence to actually go for it. My role is about helping these people make an informed decision about what they might do with their future.
 
Could you describe a typical day in your current role?

I could be doing anything from going out to a school to meet with people and talk to them about University to organising and planning the next campus visit or school visit. I also get involved in training our student ambassadors and evaluating our activities to try and assess their impact. There is always a new project to get involved with so it is a really exciting role.
 
What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming to Kent?

Come and visit - speak to the staff and the people here to get a sense as to whether it would be right for you. Everyone at the open days is really friendly and happy to tell you about what life at Kent is like. You can find out when the next one is here: http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/visit/openday/

 

 

 

 

School of European Culture & Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email the School of European Culture & Languages

Last Updated: 21/01/2019