Hi, I’m Ani!
I have been a student at Queen Mary for five years and officially almost ready to leave with two degrees this August. I look forward to completing my MA in English studies: English Literature degree and looking especially forward to my first ever winter graduation!
I have always been interested in working in education ever since I knew that academia was for me. The pursuit of research and education as well as having conversations about the future of education is something I have always been passionate about. Hence my decision to experience first-hand tutoring professionally. The QMUL Careers & Enterprise Centre have helped me find the right job whilst studying my postgraduate degree to gain some experience in teaching part-time. I was working as a paid English Tutor and tutoring English Literature to post 16 year olds. I was really pleased to hear how much students enjoyed my sessions and personally found the experience to be so rewarding.
I initially had an interview which went well and was given the opportunity to begin tutoring after having built a good rapport with the Academic Co-ordinator of the school, as well as the staff at the Careers & Enterprise Centre. This experience enabled me to put on my CV skills I had acquired as well as existing skills I had developed, ready for any future applications. Today, I am ever so grateful to have had this opportunity coupled with six years’ worth of work experience, including a certified course in Literature and Philosophy previously awarded when winning a scholarship to travel to China on a summer immersion programme. I took up the opportunity to teach a lecture to students at Sichuan University in China on Reading, Theory and Interpretation (an amazing university module!). I had written all of this on my CV because it is one of my proudest and most unforgettable experiences to date!
Not long ago, I panicked a little about life after graduation wondering what is next for me. In my heart I knew it had to do with gaining a teaching qualification via non-traditional routes such as a one year PGCE. I was more interested in training over time and gaining a salary whilst learning more about education through study. I decided to attend a careers event at Queen Mary to see what my options were. It was raining, I was tempted to run back home and just cuddle up indoors! Before that happened I literally went round to every stall where prospective employers were ready to promote opportunities and their charities. Nothing really stood out for me! However, just as I was about to leave I saw the Premier Pathways team. Two gentleman were standing ready to get to know potential applicants and take their CVs. In a nutshell, I went to them and they provide graduates with the resources and support to move into “rewarding careers with excellent earning potential”. Luckily I had one CV on me and they asked for it as they saw I was passionate about education and teaching. They were really impressed despite the fact I was drenched in rain water that day!
The careers fair was an opportunity for me to see what is “out there”. I spoke to the team for a while and they really wanted to contact me back about an opportunity and I was over-the-moon! A few weeks on I had prepared for the interview by researching what I was offered, and attended an interview that lasted almost two hours with three interviewers. I am no stranger to interviews, so was excited and just enjoyed the experience while I was there. I spoke about my educational experience as well as work experience and extra-curricular interests when answering all questions with confidence, and I felt really relaxed. The feedback was positive and I was told that my interview went really well and that they really liked me, so the next few stages were happening!
I would say to anyone in a similar situation that you should definitely grab any opportunity that will help you along the way to finding something that will (hopefully) make you happy as long as you are passionate about what you want and confident that you can deliver. Networking is so important for helping you interact with potential employers and institutions. Having an up-to-date CV is vital and having transferable skills is a “yes” for most employers (from my experiences at least). Ask questions and show an interest if you really are curious and interested. Employers love to let you know why they would want you too (it is literally give and take). I was happy to have included relevant information in my CV and really made an effort with the way I presented myself to potential employers and in my interview that followed – just keen, committed, and having a thirst to keep on learning!