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Alumni

Jonathan Mulholland

Career Path: Teacher of English at Portora Royal School
Location:

Where are you doing now?

I am currently teaching in a full-time, permanent post in Portora Royal School, back home in Northern Ireland.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

The joint honours degree allowed me to study my two passions: English and History. I felt that there was an excellent balance between the English and History modules. Towards the end of my degree, I knew I wanted to apply for a PGCE in English and being able to choose between an English or History dissertation was brilliant.

What was the best thing about your course?

Dr Kaye Kossick's seminars (they were brilliant)! The ability to choose particular modules allowed me to pursue areas of genuine interest.  My fellow students (MOST of them)! The trip to Paris I got to go on with Bill Lancaster as part of my study of 'Retail History' and 'Consumer Society'.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Dr Victoria Bazin was extremely helpful in offering advice on my dissertation. Her passion for the 'Modern American Poetry' module made seminars interesting and engaging. Other students inspired me (especially in the library at 2am) simply by also being there in the library, frantically finishing essays and dissertations!

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

My 'Modern American Poetry' module has been invaluable: poets and poems I studied are on GCSE and A-Level specifications that I currently teach. My own writing skills and ability to be analytical and evaluative developed massively due to my course. My first English module was 'The Literary Canon' and many of the texts I studied for this are texts I have either taught or referred to as a teacher.  Some of my modules required group work and group projects and this has been extremely beneficial, as it is imperative for me to work collegially and congenially with my colleagues. I think this also helped me to be more patient, which makes my pupils very lucky!

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Living in student halls! Lovaine Hall was certainly no palace, but we made the most of it! There were a lot of fun times. Making new friends. Some of my closest friends now are friends I met at Northumbria. The pizzas in Bar One (now Habita, I think!).

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

DO IT. The atmosphere and buzz around the university is infectious and palpable. Newcastle is the perfect city to be a student in; I loved every minute of it.

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

The. Best. Ever.

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