BA Sociology (2010)
I found that the course gave you a lot of freedom to tailor your own learning. There were a lot of module options to choose from as well as the core subjects in sociological theory. As a result the knowledge I got from the course was balanced and of interest to me personally."
Who are you currently working for and what is your job title?
Raw Power Management- Artiste Manager
Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?
I originally applied to Birmingham as it had a great reputation. I am from Solihull, just south of Birmingham, and I decided that there was no point moving away when there was a redbrick nearby.
What are the main benefits of studying Sociology at Birmingham?
I found that the course gave you a lot of freedom to tailor your own learning. There were a lot of module options to choose from as well as the core subjects in sociological theory. As a result the knowledge I got from the course was balanced and of interest to me personally. I chose a lot of gender modules, and the teaching staff in that area in particular were fantastic. I found all of the staff across the course very supportive.
Did you find the Sociology programme at Birmingham challenging or easy?
Some modules were a bit more challenging than others but overall there was a good balance. We were given opportunities to push ourselves to the limits. Plus I found that the simplest way to understand the programme and succeed was to attend all lessons. Especially those in the core theoretical modules. I think those who invested the time and took the course seriously found the degree experience infinitely easier than those who did not.
How does the study of sociology continue to impact on your life / experiences?
I find I have a much better understanding of current affairs since my degree. My study of sociology affected me in a lot of ways politically, even changing my voting habits as I learnt more about the world around us.
What advice would you give to current students studying sociology
Utilise the library resources and plan your time! I would also say it is crucial to always do the set readings as a lot of people often failed to do that, and it affects the group discussions in seminars. In addition- The gender and family modules are excellent. I would avoid social policy at all costs. This was a disastrous module in my first year, as the writing styles and referencing etc are all completely different for the social studies department.
Did you find the University or your degree helpful to you in getting your first job?
As I went into a slightly unconventional career there was little the careers centre or university could have done to help. A huge part of the reason I secured a job when I left university was because of my extracurricular networking with people in the industry. I was very lucky in that respect with the sociology department. As I was a good student and kept a close relationship with my tutors and lecturers, I was able to take time out occasionally to do work that furthered my interests in my career path (in my case, this included going on tour with bands I looked after, etc). Also, the fact that I had a first class degree from a redbrick was highly valued when handing my C.V. out to prospective employers once I graduated, even in a world as fickle as the music industry.
What are your fondest memories of the University?
The best bit was definitely the course. I went to university with serious expectations of my degree.
How did you grow as a person by coming to University?
I feel that I really grew as a person during those 3 years. When I started university I knew what I wanted to do at the end of it, but did not feel I had challenged myself fully in an academic respect. I also felt too young and inexperienced to move away and start work, having only lived with my parents before coming to university. When I graduated I felt ready to tackle the world of work and move on with my future.
What did you think of the learning experience within the University?
I was given a lot of responsibility on the course, and left to my own devices a lot of the time. This was crucial in preparing me for my business life, as my whole job is based on self-motivation. As a result, in a lot of respects my job is very similar to university life. I do not have set office hours, nor do I have a “boss” who watches my every move. My job security is based on trust, and the confidence my CEO has placed in me to motivate myself and do the best job possible for the artists. The lecturers on the sociology course also acted in such a way, allowing me to take what I wanted from the course
How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
When I left Birmingham I immediately moved to London and began work at a worldwide entertainment agency called CAA. Whilst this job was in the music industry, it was quite a lot of data entry as opposed to creative work. However, after a year of hard work in an assistant role at CAA, I was approached by Raw Power Management to be an assistant to two senior members of staff. This was a much more hands on role. Within two months I was promoted to manager and now look after two of my own acts.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
The best part of my job is the satisfaction I get from seeing a band’s headline show, or seeing them on TV. I also enjoy the traveling I get to do.