Daniel Giblett on a trip to Korea

This is Daniel's story

Since graduating in BSc (Hons) Sociology from Plymouth in 2016, Daniel Giblett has been travelling and working in Asia, experiencing first-hand some of the different cultures he studied during his degree. Daniel is now an English Language Instructor for Coach Park Academy in South Korea.

Daniel reflects on life after graduation, his favourite memories of his time at Plymouth and the importance of extra-curricular activities.

Adventures after graduating

“My life after graduating has been a real adventure. After spending three years of my sociology undergraduate degree learning about case studies, volunteering and studying different cultures, I knew I wanted to go out into the world and experience them. So I did just that! Since graduating, I have been teaching, travelling and volunteering across Asia, with a few highlights being a 2000-mile motorbike trip in Vietnam, and a short spell working in a Buddhist temple in China. 

“I am currently now living in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea – yes, Gangnam is a real place and not just a song – working as an adult English language coach and saving up for my masters in International Development.

“I am continuing my volunteering work, as three weekends a month I meet with a North Korean refugee, teaching them English and improving their public speaking skills, so they are able to share their experiences with a wider audience.

"This has been the most fulfilling thing I have done so far. The insights I have gained through working with someone that has experienced such a unique previous life are remarkable. Yet, the most shocking thing is, just how similar we are in so many ways.”

Inspired by life in the field

“I believe a degree from any university changes your career path. However, my course at Plymouth gave me the unique opportunity to go to The Gambia in my final year with a lecturer that has extensive experience of the country – we were given a real insight into daily life in an African country. 

The “smiling coast”, as it is affectionately known by The Gambian people, is a beautiful country and I will treasure my time there – the trip is my favourite memory of my time on the course. 

"The trip drastically changed my career outlook and gave me an international focus. My motivation to live and work abroad was significantly influenced by this field trip. This is one of the most positive influences I have gained from studying at Plymouth."

Studying at Plymouth

“One of the biggest pulls for me, after attending an open day, was the location of the University campus within the city. When I found out that the large majority of faculties, buildings and lecture theatres were all in one central location in the heart of Plymouth city centre, I knew this would be an extremely practical benefit and conducive to my studies. I was able to go from my lectures straight to the library and pick up texts for seminars and other reading lists when I needed to.

"Although Plymouth is a relatively small city, it has a wealth of opportunities. During my third year I was part of a program that rehabilitated convicted sex offenders back into the community after they served their time. This opportunity was presented to me at a volunteering fair on campus hosted by the volunteering society.

"“I noticed in my final year my grades were stagnating. I thought I was studying effectively and taking all the right steps to research and review the lecture material I was being given, so I was unsure on what I was doing wrong. I noticed an advertisement in the library for essay writing seminars. This series of seminars taught me to tailor my answers to the research question and really enhanced my overall writing techniques. Subsequently, my marks improved and I was able to achieve a final grade I am very pleased with.

“If I was given the opportunity to repeat the last few months after graduation, I would use the University’s career services a lot more. After graduating, I spent a considerable amount of time applying for jobs and editing my CV. Looking back, I would have been a lot more efficient at this if I utilised the career advisors."

The benefits of extra-curricular activities

“The extra-curricular projects I was a part of during my time at Plymouth gave me the competence and emotional maturity to be a part of other opportunities in my later life. 

"The range of opportunities I was involved in have allowed me to approach new challenges with confidence in myself and my own abilities.

“The extra-curricular opportunities available is vast at Plymouth. 

"Whether they are sport society events, talks from guest speakers or job fairs, there really are many different ways that you can support your own personal development alongside your studies. You just have to make yourself a part of them!

"I wish, in hindsight, I made more of an effort to join a sports society. I had many friends that were captains of sports teams and held executive positions in sports societies. Although I was involved in a number of different projects while at the University, the opportunity for large social events was definitely something I feel I missed out on.”

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