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The musings of a graduate

by Lewis Spratt
04 February 2015

Lewis

Whilst working for Thomas Cook, I helped organise
a mini press conference at Old Trafford.

Hello, I’m Lewis Spratt and I graduated from Roehampton in 2012 with an English Literature and Creative Writing degree. Three years on, although I’m not working at a publishing house and I’m still stuck on page one of my award winning novel (title TBA), I have been putting the skills I gained at Roehampton to excellent use.

Since graduating, I’ve worked on large ecommerce websites, helped market them online, spent the day at Old Trafford, with the Man Utd team, setting up a fans-meet-players press conference (that’s me taking a selfie to prove it), as well as dabbling in PR, social media and content writing.

At first I’m not sure I saw the link between my studies and my work, sometimes I would ask myself at university ‘is this really going to help me land that job?’, but I’d be lying if I said my time at university hasn’t helped me at all. At my first ‘big’ interview I found that I was drawing from my university experience for all of my answers. I even asked the interviewer if they were happy for me to keep referring back to university. She smiled and said of course. Things like working on group projects, juggling assignments, living with friends – these experiences were all invaluable, and skills that have helped me since graduating.

For me your experience at Roehampton can be broken into two parts (three including great days like Frigby and Summer Ball). The first being your subject passion, the reason you’re there. The second is the experience that at the time, you might not even know that you’re getting. Yes you’ll learn lots of cool facts about your area of interest, but you’ll also be out of your comfort zone, dealing with constructive criticism, learning what it is that gets the most out of you. These are things that employers look for, and they’re skills that can be learnt studying any degree, not matter what subject area you’re interested in.

Lewis

Summer Ball with DJ Ironik

Honestly, I don’t write as much as I could. I haven’t attended poetry readings like my lecturer encouraged, but I’m still young and there’s still time. I haven’t forgotten my passions, nor sold my writing aspirations for a suit and tie (jeans and a T-shirt most days). I still write, read, and still want to publish a novel. In the meantime, I’m transferring skills I learnt at university to the workplace. Whilst then I invented innovative plot lines for a story, I’m now brainstorming competition ideas and blog topics and it can be just as fun.

Instead of worrying about the perfect role, I try to find the reward in everything. My advice to future graduates - if you work an unpaid internship for two weeks, the reward is an addition to your CV. If you work at a company you don’t particularly enjoy, but the skills you learn could land you a better job, there’s reward there as well.

My work for the last four months has been really rewarding. I’ve helped launch a toys & gifts website (click here to see it), a project I was involved in from start to finish. I don’t know if this is the kind of work I’ll always do, but I know that I enjoy it. Perhaps in the future, I’ll find a job where my subject passion can cross paths with the skills I’m learning at work.

Lewis

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