Naomi Ives completed her French degree in 2000. She is now an Artist Manager for conductors and instrumentalists with IMG Artists in London.
What was the best thing about studying at Birmingham?
“I loved Birmingham - I met so many great people, made the most of the city and what it had to offer and generally had loads of fun! I also loved how varied the course. It wasn’t all just about learning how to speak, read and write in French to the best of my abilities, I also got to study history, film, literature and song amongst the many things on offer!”
How did Birmingham help you to develop important skills?
“Doing all of these things taught me how to research, think in depth and apply reason to my essays and presentations. Living abroad for a year was a great experience which was tricky and challenging at times but hugely rewarding and great fun. The process of getting yourself set up in a new country taught me a great deal - everything from opening bank accounts (not straight forward in France!), applying for residency permits, spending hours in consulates and embassies when I lost my passport and adjusting to a new way of life in general really stood me in good stead.”
How did you get to where you are today?
"When I was studying, it was very difficult for me to imagine what I might be doing after graduation. I knew I didn’t want to be an academic or stay on to do a masters and sometimes I worried that I didn’t have a vocational degree which would naturally carry me off in to a career. However, immediately after graduation, I worked as researcher pulling together large projects often in community safety, public health or public housing. I then went on to be an assistant at IMG Artists so learnt the ropes to my current role. I moved to Scotland where I worked for The Royal Scottish National Orchestra as their Sponsorship Manager and then was Company Manager for Scottish Opera for five years. Working at one of the leading national opera companies gave me invaluable further experience in dealing with artists and also gave me insight in to how the business works on that side of the industry.“
What advice would you give current students?
“I think it’s important to realise that studying modern languages will prepare you for employment more than you think. It shows prospective employers that you have an aptitude for communication, which can be hugely important in many careers.”