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Alumni

James Haswell

JAMES HASWELL | AMERICAN STUDIES

Tell us about yourself in 3-4 sentences.

I am a 27-year-old currently living in Newcastle, but originally from County Durham. From finishing my A-levels I went on to complete my BA at Northumbria University in American Studies, to then go on to complete my MSc in International Development. After graduating I started to work at the Labour Party in a number of different roles, before getting to my current role which is Commercial Development Coordinator.  

 

What did you study at Northumbria? Why?  

Growing up I was always fascinated by history, politics and social studies. I also love music, films, TV and sport. There are very few degree courses that combine all of these things, but the American Studies program at Northumbria did. This was a huge pull factor for me as I was still unsure as to what I wanted to do after graduating; this variety of learning allowed me to try out new things until I found something that stuck. It also gave me the opportunity to undertake a month-long internship at an international non-profit lobbying organisation based in Washington, DC. This was all invaluable experience: it has set me on a career path that I love and would not have been possible without my experience at Northumbria University. 

 

What are you doing now? 

For the past two years I have worked as Commercial Development Coordinator for the Labour Party. I am part of a team whose core focus is to organise the Labour Party Annual Conference each year, but we also support other teams in delivering smaller conferences and events as well as supporting the organisation with their commercial opportunities.  

Individually, I am responsible for organising the fringe programme that runs alongside the Annual Conference. This is usually a programme of around 500 events, featuring organisations from all sectors and all walks of life, and taking place over multiple days and venues. It’s a challenging job due to its scale and scope and its unique social and political parameters. But it’s a job that I love doing and take real pride in. 

 

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

For me studying at Northumbria was a clear choice. I remember attending open days at a number of universities across the country and nothing seemed to come close to what Northumbria had to offer. I may be slightly biased being from the area, but nothing quite comes close to the friendly atmosphere of the city and the Geordies who live there, or the variety of bars, restaurants and cafés on your doorstep. It’s a small city with a lot to offer! 

When attending the open day at Northumbria I remember being genuinely excited about the American Studies program and the possibility of undertaking it. The caliber of teaching staff was amazing, seeing the sort of research they had all been involved in and the variety of specialist areas of studies they bring experience from was a big bonus for me. There was a great variety of modules on offer, and a real multi-disciplinary offering which is hugely beneficial for someone who is still trying to figure out what comes next.  

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