Connor Puhalo-Grover

Graduated with a first class degree in Hispanic Studies in 2013.

Connor talks about studying for his BA in Hispanic Studies.

Why did you choose Kent?

What actually sold me on it was the campus; after going back to the Kent open day it became my top choice.

What attracted you to the course?

I’ve always liked languages, since my school was a language college. There were a lot of history modules on offer as well, which I thought I would enjoy – turns out I did!

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

SECL is a charming school, and the course was taught by people who really know their stuff. I’d particularly like to mention William Rowlandson – his classes were always very quirky.

What social activities/extra-curricular activities did you get involved with during your time at Kent? Did you use the Graduate School?

I was in the Hispanic Society in my first year, which was a lot of fun as we got to interact a bit more with the Erasmus students over from Spain. I also did peer mentoring in the first term of my final year, but had to give it up as I needed the extra time to work – I was desperate to do as well as I could.

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

I did consider going back to do a Masters but couldn’t really justify the expense. I’ll gladly overlook that though, if/when Kent starts offering a Translation Studies masters! I actually work on the international team and have fairly regular dealings with Spain – I was placed in this function because of my language skills.

Could you describe your career path since leaving Kent?

I worked throughout uni at a well-known pub chain! I stayed there when I graduated and was promoted three times into a deputy manager position at the Folkestone pub. It’s the people skills I learnt in that job, as well as the level of accountability that I had, that helped me to get into my current role.

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?

I speak to a lot of candidates. At this stage, I am still in training, so I will be given a role to find candidates for, and will speak to as many people on the database who have the rights skill set as possible. I also spend time headhunting (which is really fun), and I post job ads online daily too. I’m about to make my first placement (fingers crossed), and have a couple of interviews in the pipe too. It’s a really fast-paced environment but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What are your future plans/aspirations?

I plan to keep moving up! There is great potential for progression in my job, and you also earn some seriously good money which is a nice perk. My girlfriend and I are planning on buying a house in the next couple of years too.

Do you have any other happy memories of Kent that you would like to share with us?

My entire second year was great – my girlfriend and I often talk about how it’s the one time in our lives we’d give up what we have now to go back to! My year abroad was also amazing. I spent a lot of time socialising with Spanish people so my language skills improved a lot.

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

Do it! The uni is excellent, the campus is beautiful, and Canterbury is a lovely place to live – if you need proof, I graduated nearly two years ago and I’m still living here!