Rachel Coke – BA (Hons) History with Politics; MA History graduate

“Plymouth not only provided me with two really good degrees, but also with the skills to enter the workplace. The open door policies of my departments, the support of my tutors, and the recognition of hard work made it easier to keep going and encouraged me to succeed and allowed me to accomplish things I never thought were possible”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

When I graduated from my undergraduate degree, I decided that I wanted to pursue my masters degree while still focusing on my ultimate goal of teaching. Partly because of my job experiences working as a student ambassador for the University, I was able to get a job as a Cover Supervisor at the Marine Academy Plymouth while continuing to study part time. My decision to take a year long position at a boarding school allowed me to finish my masters and refocus before starting my teacher training. I reapplied this year and have a place on a PGCE Secondary History course at UWE for September 2016.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

The current teacher training marketplaces means that they are searching for experience as well as enthusiasm, which may mean you need to maximise the opportunities you are being given to achieve your goals. Also, never give up if it’s what you really want to do.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Plymouth not only provided me with two really good degrees, but also with the skills to enter the workplace. The open door policies of my departments, the support of my tutors, and the recognition of hard work made it easier to keep going and encouraged me to succeed and allowed me to accomplish things I never thought were possible. In addition, my job as a student ambassador and my bosses provided me with experience and opportunities which have proven to be invaluable. The support I felt when completing my degree has carried on even after I left the University and started to take my next steps.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

I have many good memories of studying at Plymouth: the five years I spent there were some of the best in my life. I think a particular favourite was attending research lectures and conferences which challenged preconceptions on a variety of subjects.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Yes, Plymouth gave me the chance to grow and provided me with so many different opportunities. I left with the best possible chances for employment and with a support network that’s irreplaceable. 

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

Maximise your time and get involved as much as possible: you really do get out what you put in.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying history please visit our BA (Hons) History course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Humanities and Performing Arts, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are currently doing, please visit the humanities and languages interest area.