This week, the Classics Department teamed up English, Politics and History to run the first ever Future Pathways: Learning from Alumni event, specifically aimed at students of humanities subjects. Four Trinity alumni with degrees in these subjects were invited to speak: Jamie Cox, Co-Founder and CEO at TreeCard; Olivia Smout, Marketing Executive at American Express; Deesha Ganguli, Civil Service Fast Stream; and Will Bowler, Strategy and Planning Manager, HSBC UK.  

The alumni shared their different experiences of taking the first steps in their careers, securing internships and jobs, launching companies and even details of their average day. They also spoke of the value of the skills they had gained whilst studying humanities subjects and how important it is to pursue extra-curricular activities at school and university. This varied experience helps you to become well-rounded individuals as well as gaining ‘soft skills’, which are of great importance in the workplace.  

After this, Mr Paterson, Assistant Head of Futures, chaired a Q&A session in which the panel answered queries from the audience. Around fifty students in the Fourth Year and above attended, including nine students who will be starting in the Lower Sixth at Trinity in September. 

Miss Van Dal, Head of Classics, said, “Students often ask me what they can do with a Classics degree, but in some ways, the question is more, what can’t you do?! It was brilliant to get a flavour of the diverse pathways our alumni have pursued with degrees in the humanities and hear their advice to students about choosing subjects and activities they enjoy, with the rest falling into place in the future.” 

Gabriella Thomas, Upper Sixth student studying Latin and English, said,I really enjoyed the event as I got the opportunity to both hear from Trinity alumni and be introduced to younger students, including those who will form the new Lower Sixth.  

“I have already submitted my UCAS application and have applied for a combination of humanities subjects. It was encouraging to hear from those who had been in my position talk so highly of their humanities degrees and how they used them to enter a variety of careers.” 

Kashvi Philip, Upper Sixth student studying Latin, Greek and Classical Civilisations, said, “I found the event particularly interesting as I do three ‘classics’ subjects and plan to do a classics degree, so it was really good to see someone whose career options remained completely open after doing classics at university. 

“I also feel like I learnt a lot from all the alumni: the English graduate provided great insight into the importance of internships and work experience. The last thing that stuck with me was from the Politics and International Relations graduate – hearing about the experience of a woman from an ethnic minority really resonated with me and hearing her say that regardless of your background you deserve a seat at the table felt like an important message to take away.” 

With many thanks to our alumni for their time. We are also focusing on apprenticeships next week to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, with posters featuring our alumni apprentices around the school. We are looking forward to welcoming more back to the school to speak to students during Careers Week in March.

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