Students inspired by alumni working in language teaching, writing and publishing

The School of European Culture and Languages hosted two events as part of Humanities for Hire 2020: ‘Working in writing and publishing’, with the School of English, and ‘Teaching languages after your degree’.

These events were organised following student feedback, and aimed to provide an informal opportunity for students to speak to Kent graduates working in various sectors and to gain an insight into the wide range of opportunities available.

The panellists for ‘Working in writing and publishing’ were:
• Emily Cook, a writer and broadcast journalist who graduated in English Language & Linguistics in 2015.
• Simon Elliott, an author, historian, archaeologist and Honorary Research Fellow at Kent. Simon received his PhD in Classical & Archaeological Studies on the subject of the Roman military in Britain, graduating in 2017.
• Amanda Thomas, an author, linguist and historian with a particular interest in social and medical history. She graduated from Kent in 1983 with a degree in Italian.
• Hamza Jahanzeb, an English and American Literature graduate who and has worked at various global publishing houses including Penguin Random House UK, Pan Macmillan and Hachette UK since leaving Kent in 2016.

Chaired by Heidi Colthup, Deputy Head of the Department of English Language and Linguistics and Convenor of the ‘Writing in the Media’ module, the event provided insights into a typical day for an author and for those working in the publishing/publicity sector; advice on how to break into a competitive industry; managing your digital footprint and engaging with potential employers on social media; and how their studies at Kent contributed to their success. Our thanks to colleagues in the School of English for their support with this event.

The ‘Teaching languages after your degree event’ was chaired by Dr Rebecca Ogden and featured Kent graduate Alejandra Crispino Robles (MFL Teacher and Head of House at Evelyn Grace Academy) who discussed her PGCE and described her experience in this role while also giving advice to those who are considering going down that route.

Alejandra discussed how her studies at the University of Kent prepared her for this experience beyond the linguistic abilities she has gained throughout her degree. She also talked about using social media (such as LinkedIn) for professional purposes and what it means to be part of the teaching community. This interview was followed by a Q & A from the audience. This event was recorded and is available to watch on Kent player.

Do you have an idea for an employability event that you would like to see in the future? Please let us know at

'Working in writing and publishing' panel

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