Χαίρετε, or hello! I’m Oliver and I’m the newest Graduate Trainee at the Royal College of Nursing. I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2015, studying Classical Civilisation.
My original plan after this was to take a year out to work part-time (which I did), and begin an MRes in Classical Research the following September. The concrete idea in my head was to hop along every stepping-stone through academia.
Lo and behold that didn’t work out. Before the end of term I had to make the difficult decision whether to carry on with my degree, or to withdraw, always with the option that it was something that I could re-visit in the future.
This left me in a bit of a weird place. All of a sudden, with one decision some morning in early December, I decided to look at my ‘life plan’ and tear it up. Because I had an academic career in mind for so long, I hadn’t considered anything other than this. I was left with what felt like an infinite amount of opportunities which felt both liberating, and a bit intimidating.
After trawling through lists of what seemed like the word ‘sales’ for months, it made me think about the kind of career that I might want to pursue, and the places that I might want to work. I enjoyed all the academic aspects within my degree, but was more than happy to escape what seemed like the crushing weight of academia bearing down upon me. Regardless, a huge part of me still wanted to keep at least one of my feet dipped in academic water where I could.
I knew that I wanted an engaging and varied role, the opportunity to interact and engage with people, at an organisation that I truly believed in.
I started to rack my brain as I tried to think of where these two things might collide.
Throughout my time as an undergraduate I volunteered at the University’s Music Library, & Classics library. This was something I really enjoyed and never really considered a career as a possible career path– Maybe I was onto something?
Maybe it’s possible to have a career that you might actually enjoy?!
The variety offered in the role really gained my attention, and as I began to look into the history of the RCN I grew increasingly interested. The RCN graduate trainee position is like library-themed cheese-board where you are able to have a taste of all aspects of library work from Customer Services, Collections, E-Systems, & Audience Engagement.
Being here for a few months has made me realise that I think I’ve found my career path, and I don’t think I could have chosen a better place to start. The chance that I haven’t had chance to post yet is a good sign. I’ve been given enough responsibility to work on individual projects, work with different teams, and truly immerse myself in the life of a graduate trainee.
I’ve even had the opportunity the visit the Wormwood Scrubs Prison Library that arrested my attention, had a dissection of the Royal College of Physicians, the very shiny University of Bedfordshire – Luton Library, and finally buzzed around the bee-rilliant Worcestershire Hive.
Here is to renewing your interest for more frequent blog updates!