Kate Hagan

Alumni profile - Kate Hagan, BA English, MA English, PGCE Secondary English with Drama

Why did you choose to study here?

I studied at the Tremough Campus because Cornwall has always been my favourite place on the world so being able to combine that with my love of literature, it was an easy decision. Cornwall has a wealth of Literature and I liked the fact that the course incorporated that whether possible to give a different slant on literature studies. The course and the campus had considerably less students than the main campuses and I liked the fact I wouldn't just be one of faceless crowd. I felt the fewer numbers meant my lecturers would be able to get to know me better and therefore provide me with more help when needed. I liked the idea that everyone knew everyone, at least by sight. Plus, being a big surfer the lure of the beach was too much to resist!

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The variety of the texts that were studied, the people I was with, the quality of the teaching I received (hence why I stayed on for two further years). Everything!

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Before graduating I had been accepted onto the MA English course at the main Exeter campus. I would be specialising in transatlantic studies to further widen my understanding of literature. Whilst studying for my MA I volunteered in a local school as I had decided that I wanted to become an English teacher and so was building my classroom experience. I graduated in November 2011 having already started my PGCE at St Luke's Campus in Secondary English and Drama. My two placement schools were both local so I got to stay in the area. During the year I secured a job at Clevedon School, Clevedon where I completed my NQT year and now have a permanent job at Brimsham Green School, Yate which is just north of Bristol.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love that every day is different. Yes, I teach the same children every day but no two days are the same. I am passionate about my students education and getting them the best possible grades so they can be anything they want to be. Yes, the hours are long and my work/life balance is pretty much non existent but it is worth it. The feeling you get when thy accomplish great things (no matter how big or small) is tremendous.

How have your University of Exeter studies helped in your career?

My time at Exeter taught me to never give up which translates directly into teaching, my 5years at the university didn't go exactly as I had planned but I was determined to get to where I wanted to be and didn't give up. I try to install the same drive Into my students. The knowledge that I gained in literature and how to approach literary texts has been invaluable in my teaching.

Do you have any advice for current students wishing to pursue your career?

Never give up. If you want it, go for it full force. Ignore those who say you can't do it and go for it. Be prepared to work hard, it isn't an easy job but keep going. The rewards are so worth the hours put in.

What are your plans for the future?

Teaching! The plan is to move back to the south west in a few years. In terms of career, I would like to go down the pastoral route perhaps becoming a head of year or similar.

Do you have any tips or advice on being employable?

Be honest, be yourself.