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Alumni

Carys Vickers

Career Path: Finance & Operations Assistant, New Writing North
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

I did American Studies at Northumbria. I’ve always grown up with an awareness and interest in American culture, having family who live in the States. This interest grew during my History GCSE and A-Level where (aided by a slight obsession with a certain hip-hop musical) I got to explore 18th and 19th century American history in more depth and realised that was what I enjoyed doing most at school - and so I decided to continue learning at university!

What are you doing now?

I am working for a local organisation called New Writing North, who support writers in the North of England. I started with them as Digital Marketing Intern for a year, and now work as Finance and Operations Assistant. blonde lady  smiling at the camera

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I largely chose Northumbria because it was the only university offering American Studies that was local enough for me to stay at home while studying. It’s quite special that an often overlooked university in an often overlooked part of the country offers such a unique and interesting degree programme.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

After the slog of A-Levels, studying at Northumbria reignited my love of learning. It was refreshing to learn from people who really cared about the subject matter, to discuss ideas and share the experience with course mates, and to hone the craft of essay writing. Although academia isn’t always so glamorous, I have many fond memories of library study sessions and post-lecture lunch with friends. Newcastle itself also has a lot to offer, as it’s a beautiful and lively city while still being small enough to make you feel well connected and at home.

What was the best thing about your course?

I loved the freedom that my course offered to dig deeper into subjects I was interested in. The modules cover lots of different disciplines, like history, English literature, film and politics, and within each module there’s usually scope to explore your areas of interest. For example, across all 3 years I regularly found opportunities to apply knowledge and concepts from my modules to analyse my favourite books and films. I also have to mention study abroad; I did a semester at Montclair State University which was an amazing opportunity to experience the culture first-hand and see the things I’d been learning about come to life. Living abroad also really boosted my confidence and facilitated a lot of personal growth for me. Some universities only offer a year abroad, but I appreciated the option to do a semester – for some people it’s much more manageable than a year.

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now? 

Because American Studies is such an interdisciplinary course that encourages you to be interested in lots of things and carry your knowledge across subject areas, it geared me up to be flexible, creative and open-minded in my interests and problem-solving. In my career since graduating I’ve learned a wide variety of skills and have worked quite broadly across different areas of my company, which I feel is a continuation of that interdisciplinary spirit, and opens up a lot of options going forwards.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Fulfilling, challenging and fun.

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