Ciara graduated in 2016, having added a year in industry to her BA in History. Ciara completed her placement with an international recruitment firm, and since graduating Ciara travels have taken her all the way to Australia and into a role in Talent Acquisition with the same firm.
What attracted you to study at Kent?
The variety of modules – it was great that my course allowed me to study everything from African history to medical history and Britain during the Second World War.
How did you find your course?
I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my course from start to finish. I changed from joint honours to single at the end of my first year so it was also great to have that flexibility. I then changed my course title again by undertaking a placement year, during which I gained excellent work experience. I wouldn’t have my job now without it!
In my final year, I studied Britain’s Home Front as my special subject and it was my favourite module by far. Every week it was always interesting and engaging.
What did you think of the teaching?
Throughout my time at Kent I always thought the teaching was excellent. It was always made aware that I could go to my seminar leaders should I require extra support or advice on an essay.
What did you think of the facilities on campus?
The study facilities on campus were above my expectations, and especially when the new section of the library opened in my final year. I expect it’s even better now that the library renovation is nearly finished!
Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities, and if so, how did you find them?
Whilst at Kent I was a member of the history society and worked as both a history and student ambassador at various stages. I went to Berlin and Budapest with the history society and thought both were brilliant. Most my friends do not share my interest in history so it was a great opportunity to visit historical places of interest with other likeminded students!
Did you take on any work experience placements during your studies? If so, what support did you receive from the School in securing/completing this?
I was the first student from the School of History to successfully complete a placement year. I secured my internship at Hays myself but advice was offered to me from both the School and the Careers & Employability Service. Throughout my placement Jon Beer was great at keeping in touch and gave me all the support I needed to complete my end of year report.
How do you think your studies have helped your career prospects?
Without a doubt, my studies and placement year have helped my career prospects. My placement year has given me confidence to pursue jobs I would not have otherwise considered and made me much more committed to my studies in my final year.
My dissertation gave me an opportunity to study women’s history in more depth, and has helped develop my interest in equal rights. I would also say I’m now more analytical and dedicated to completing long projects as a direct result of my degree.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working in Melbourne as a Talent Acquisition Specialist for one of the largest multichannel marketing companies in Australia. Late last year I also volunteered with GVI on their Women’s Empowerment project in Nepal for a month, teaching English to local women as part of an initiative to improve employment prospects. I am planning on working in Australia for the next four months, travelling for a while and then returning to the UK in August.
What are your future career plans?
From my experience working in recruitment, I hope to pursue a career in HR. I want to return to university in a couple of years and complete a masters in Human Resource Management.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying History at Kent?
You don’t need to commit to a career in History just because it’s what you studied at undergraduate level! When I applied to Kent I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do career-wise!