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Kirsty Gunn – Employability

Last Updated:

12th June 2014

As far as writing, study, and practice is concerned, what I'm looking for first and foremost is creative aptitude and enthusiasm. Those two qualities, I feel, they sing off the page in an application. You can just sense the kind of white heat of someone's ambition on their application. Once we have that that's like wonderful raw material. We take that, we work with it, and we develop it.

Well, English prepares students for a whole range of job possibilities. Obviously, media studies, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, all these things. But more than that a degree in English or any of our English related subjects prepares a student to be culturally engaged to express themselves well and with authority, to convey an appetite and enthusiasm for the culture around them, and to take that skill into anything from the diplomatic corps to computer services.

I'm delighted to tell you about what our students have achieved. So proud that in a course that's no more than, I guess, about three years old we've already been cited by Gavin Wallace, literature director of Creative Scotland, as being one of the most exciting programs in the country. That makes me so proud I can't tell you and proud of my students and what they've achieved.

Just to give you a little example of some of our recent graduates, we have one that's gone on to take prestigious Ph.D. studies at the University of Edinburgh who's also a published poet and is now writing for The Scotsman. We have one established in an internship at a very prestigious publishing house. We have another whose won a major literary prize, and another whose just had her first novel published to great acclaim and that's just last year. So, we're very, very thrilled with what our students go on and do.

As I said, that's part of this wider story that we have here in English of preparing students across a range of subject areas throughout English studies and then sending them off into the world able to translate that study program into something that's very real and practical and exciting.

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