Employability

Posted on 4th February 2015

Graduation may seem a long way away, espeically when you are still thinking about going to university, but for us what you do when you leave the Department of English is of vital importance.

Fortunately, the Department of English has one of the highest employability rates in the North West, which should reassure you that we're taking care of your future, even before you've arrived. With a careers tutor in the Department, as well as the Careers and Employability team dedicated to looking after your interests, you will receive all the information and support you need to help you prepare for your future.

Not only is your whole degree underpinned by transferable skills but at the end of your second year we have experiential modules which are employability-driven - something unique to the University of Chester. You could choose to develop your writing or research skills with an eye to entering your future profession, or to undertake a placement to get some work experience to help with those vital decisions in your final year. In recent years students have been on placements in education, publishing houses, newspapers and magazines, advertising and marketing companies, as well as libraries and museums.

Here is what some of our recent graduates are up to:

Steph BrockenSteph Brocken
Graduated: BA (Hons) English; MA Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
Currently: Minerva Arts and Studying for a PhD in Applied Arts
 
I was a student in the Department of English from 2006 to 2009 and lived at home for the duration of my degree. One of the reasons I chose to stay at home was because I had the opportunity to continue the work I had done in my gap year in the Education Department of the Chester Gateway Theatre. Throughout my time at University I was able to combine my two primary interests, the study of literature and working in the applied arts field. After graduating in 2009 I was part of the first cohort to undertake the MA in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. At this point, my parallel work in the arts led me to set up my own arts business, Minerva Arts. During the 2009/10 academic year, Minerva delivered several outreach projects in various settings throughout Cheshire and Greater Manchester, and in April 2011 I took over what was formerly the Chester Gateway Youth Theatre. In September 2011 I began my PhD research. My PhD is in applied arts, using the work that I have been doing over the past six years as its inspiration. It is informed by, and in turn informs, my professional practice under the banner of Minerva Arts. This means that I can continue to work professionally as a participatory artist whilst developing a career for myself in Higher Education and using all the academic skills and interests that I gathered during my undergraduate and Masters-level studies. 
 
Ruth FielderRuth Fielder 
Graduated: BA (Hons) English
Currently: Business Development Manager at Printondemand-worldwide.com
 
I had a very enjoyable experience at Chester, being one of the editors for the creative writing publication Pandora’s Box, and a student representative. The Department of English is a focused academic department as well as a sociable and friendly environment, with open-mic evenings and a literature society. 
 
When I finished my degree at Chester I already had a place to study on the Masters in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. An English degree leads the way for what you can achieve in the future. It develops writing styles and academic research skills, as well as giving you the necessary tools to move onto postgraduate study.  As well as studying on an MA, I also have an internship at Oxford University Press, which has also led to some paid part-time work for them.  I now work for Hodder and Stoughton.
 
Even though I have moved on with my academic study, I am still in contact with many members of staff, which demonstrates their dedication and passion for their students. 
 
Since writing this Ruth has become Business Development Manager at the digital book printers Printondemand-worldwide.com.
 
Jennifer SmithJennifer Smith
Graduated: BA (Hons) English Literature
Currently: Head of English, St David’s College
 
My time as a student at Chester was a fantastic experience, where the English tutors really helped me to develop my academic writing skills. The staff always made time for any questions I had and supported me through three enjoyable and challenging years.
 
During that time, I took part in a creative writing module, ‘Varieties of Writing’. I was encouraged to send some of my work away and my poetry was then published in several small press journals. It was a complete surprise to me as I’d never written poetry before! I also won Chester’s Creative Writing Award for a short story I’d composed for the course.  I am certain that if my tutor hadn’t told me to send the work away, I wouldn’t have done so. 
 
I graduated with a 2.1 BA (Hons) in English (Literature). I was appointed Practice Manager at a Chiropractic clinic on the Wirral. I enjoyed the work but soon came to realise that I wanted to do something beyond administration, and decided to pursue a career in teaching.  I became a Teaching Assistant before embarking upon a teaching course. I achieved a PGCE in English Secondary teaching with Distinction. 
 
During my second year of teaching at Walsall Academy - a sister school of Thomas Telford School, a leading comprehensive which specialises in E-Learning - I decided that I missed studying following the positive experiences I’d had during my BA and PGCE. I started my two year Writing Studies MA which I graduated from in 2009 with Merit. I had been working at a top private school on the Wirral, Birkenhead School, and after four years of teaching in 2010, I successfully applied for a position as Head of English at St David’s College, a Boarding School that specialises in provision for dyslexic students.  
 
I am now studying for a second MA in Education whilst in my sixth year of teaching.  I know that my passion for English has been fostered by the tutors I’d met at Chester and this has led to the success I have had in my teaching career so far.  I firmly believe that anyone who enrols at Chester University will be well prepared and highly qualified for the working world they then enter.