Graduate case study - intellectual curiosity
James Hewitt – McEyeson
James is currently Volunteering & Fundraising Manager for Kent Union. He studied History & Politics (BA Hons), graduating in 2015, followed by International Law & International Relations (LLM), graduating in 2017. During his time at University James was a member of the Cricket Club, participated in the University of London Officer Training Corps (ULOTC) and volunteered with the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).
In what ways did Kent equip you with the skills necessary to excel when you graduate?
The challenging and demanding nature of my postgraduate course meant that I gained the necessary skills to help me in the long term especially in terms of time management and prioritising a difficult work load. More importantly though, studying the masters programme I did taught me to challenge why things are done and to always look at the ways in which things are done, challenging the norm if there are better ways to do things and help others. Before coming to the University of Kent I was initially worried however in my first year I joined the cricket club and met a lot of people from different backgrounds. Working in a team and playing a sport in which communication at the wicket is a key part, has helped me to gain and develop those skills over time to the point where I would consider my interpersonal skills one of my strengths today.
How would you personally define intellectual curiosity?
To me intellectual curiosity is the desire to want to learn. I’m sure at times everyone has come across a module at university of a subject at school that doesn’t interest them or that they see as being boring. Throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, I was able to select modules that interested me and that made me what to learn more. It was through these that my intellectual curiosity grew and made me read further into different areas because I wanted to know more. In my third year I took a module called Humans at War which looked at the different roles and experiences of humans in war and issues surrounding agency and third parties in conflict. Admittedly, seminar reading was something that I didn’t particularly enjoy however when it came to the reading for this course, I was always intrigued by what I was researching and always aimed to find out more. It’s this desire and willingness to learn more about something that is often sparked by a topic, event or motivational academic whose passion inspires you to learn.