History student develops her confidence leadership and networking skills
Student spotlight | Olivia Plummer, BA (Hons) History
Olivia chose her course at Leeds Beckett because she wanted to develop her research and writing skills which she could apply to a number of career options post university. Through a Women in Leadership course Olivia also learnt a range of employable skills to help her succeed after graduation.
- Course: BA (Hons) History
Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to history.
I am a third-year Leeds Beckett student currently studying BA (Hons) History. I studied History, Politics, and Philosophy for my A-Levels and really struggled to decide which to carry on with at a degree level. When looking at the History course that Leeds Beckett offered, I was really impressed by the range of modules spanning the three years that encompassed all my interests developed during school. It is something that really set them apart from other universities for me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about such a range of modern historical events.
More broadly, I decided to study History as I feel like it gives you a wide set of skills that can be maximised on or adapted to any role you want to take on after graduating. A History degree allows you to develop research and writing skills in an environment that is responsive to the changes taking place in society. Most importantly, I feel like History sets you up to exercise your intellectual independence and gives you a new perception of the world.
What made you choose Leeds Beckett?
A key factor in my decision to study in Leeds is the fact that Leeds is a city full of History itself. It boasts local history resources such as the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds Industrial Museum, and Abbey House Museum. The University itself is also renowned as providing a great student experience, which I can now testify for.
The support you receive as a student at Leeds Beckett is unmatched, and once you join you already feel part of a close-knit community that does not end once you graduate. This was evident from the open days I attended, and I really recommend applying for these to see for yourself! As a third-year student, I have now also enjoyed using the careers service and seen for myself how useful it can be.
What opportunities have you had on your course?
There have been so many opportunities presented to me through Leeds Beckett, both inside and outside my course. One of these opportunities was the Women in Leadership course, which I completed during my third year. I applied for the programme at the recommendation of one of my lecturers who believed I would enjoy the course content and learn skills to boost my confidence. The programme consisted of 5 sessions talking about things such as: confidence, mindset, leadership, networking, and personal branding. They also had many guest speakers talking through career options and what it took for women to get to leadership roles. As a History student, I found this highly motivational as not one of the speakers had a similar career path after university, showing the importance of having passion and belief in yourself that you are making the right decision on your future. Personally, I found the talks to boost my confidence and grow my mindset through learning psychology behind these things and getting involved in debates with other students participating.
What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?
My favourite thing about my time studying at Leeds Beckett has been developing my passion for History, driven by that of my lecturers. The enthusiasm they have for their subject has been very motivational whilst going through the degree, and I have really enjoyed learning about their areas of expertise. This is especially true when considering the diverse nature of the things I have learnt about throughout my time at Leeds Beckett.
Whilst looking at international and modern history, I have learnt about such a wide range of topics, and this has really helped me in deciding what I want to do in the future. Some of my favourites have been learning about South Africa under Apartheid or using American History to develop Digital History skills. I have also been able to develop my flexible and critical thinking through the wide range of assignments.
Other than the traditional essays, I have been assigned to make a podcast, a museum exhibition board and present on songs and their lyrics. Studying at Leeds Beckett has overall been a fun and engaging experience that I will not forget.
What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?
One piece of advice I would give someone thinking about studying this course is to make the most of it. Leeds is an amazing city to study in, and this is partnered with a great History course provided by Leeds Beckett. You can definitely make the most of working hard and contributing to the course whilst living a fun student life. I really believe that the more you put into it, the more you will get out!