Subject: Politics
Student status: Home, Graduate
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I think without studying Politics, it's reasonable to assume I would never have stood for election as a student union officer. I think that's a highly political, or I know, that's a highly political environment on so many levels and while I might still have had a desire to do that while studying another course maybe I wouldn't have been surrounded in the kind of environment that promoted a forthcoming discussion of opinions and an exchange of views, those kinds of things, as a Politics department tends to.

So maybe my year as a student officer was related to my interested in Politics as well even though that interest was moving away from the opinion and the personal perspective and moving much more towards evaluation and an assessment of a position or a particular circumstance.

I think it certainly helped me in my officer year because I was able to understand a lot more about the other four people I was working with, the other four officers as well as leading a staff team of 30 or so people, as well as relating with dozens of senior university management, day in, day out, being able to understand where all of us fit together in this picture, why people are coming at it from different perspectives and all of these kinds of things. That motivation and that way of assessing was probably related to my Politics degree.

Do you think you ever might use Politics again in the future?

Politics and primary school teaching, not that far apart at all. You can look at climbing leadership scales to headship and those kinds of things, about being able to diplomatically manage a group of people or approach a different problem and these kinds of things. I can see that coming forward, I can also see myself not sticking at teaching for 40 years or something like that, going from being 23 to being 65 in one career is something that I find quite daunting.

I'm worried about myself becoming jaded in any one career, not just to do with teaching but if I was doing anything for 40 years, I think that everybody needs to find a new challenge when they find that they've run their course in a particular area. It might come back that Politics can be of an interest there or it might be that I can incorporate Politics with my passion for education in a different way, a few years down the line. I don't know what it might be but I certainly don't rule it out.