Hi, my name is Paige Tracey and I graduated from Birmingham in July 2018 with a First-Class Honours degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences (LANS) with a Philosophy major.
The interdisciplinary natures of a LANS degree meant I was really well-rounded for seeking employment. While I had the analytical and communication skills that come with studying a humanities subject like Philosophy, I also acquired some relevant technical knowledge through studying Marketing. This isn’t something I would have been able to do had I just chosen to study a single honours course and it gave me a competitive advantage. While sorting out my own work experience was invaluable in me getting my graduate role, I can’t deny that the opportunity to try out subjects and adapt my degree accordingly was also important in my academic and employment success up to this stage. When you do look for employment however, don’t let the LANS programme speak for itself; sell how it makes you the best person for the role! Emphasise your broad and interdisciplinary subject knowledge, flexibility and organisation, and inter-cultural awareness gained through your year abroad.
Since graduating, I have started a job called “Campaign Manager” at an on-campus marketing agency in Birmingham. I’m responsible for managing marketing campaigns on university campuses nationwide, including the hiring and management of student Brand Ambassadors, and the acquiring of new clients for marketing campaigns. I gained some experience in this field before I left university as in my final year, I was Birmingham’s Brand Ambassador for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and I also worked for another company called On-Campus promotions. I met my current employer at a networking event for students interested in PR, Advertising and Marketing hosted by Birmingham Business School. I found out about this event because through LANS I’d also studied some business modules in Marketing, a field I’d always been curious about.
I would always recommend taking a module linked to the destination of study on your year abroad. It once again shows your flexibility and interest in studying things that are completely unique!
When I first began my LANS degree I had planned to do an English Literature major. After the first year I discovered that English at university was completely different to A Level, and I didn’t really have much of a passion for deciphering metaphors after all! Luckily, I had by chance taken a 10-credit module in Ancient Philosophy because some of my original module choices clashed. I discovered I had a real passion for Philosophy, a subject which I had never studied prior to starting university. The LANS programme gave me the freedom to study more first year Philosophy modules in my second year, which ultimately allowed me to build a major in the subject. If I hadn’t taken this programme, I never would have considered that Philosophy was a subject I wanted to study at degree level and furthermore, that it’s a subject I’m actually really good at! For that flexibility and the ability to try new things alone, I am glad I chose to study Liberal Arts at Birmingham.