Oliver’s Odyssey


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.

One that that I’ve learnt is that it’s really difficult to escape the classical world.

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!



2 thoughts on “Oliver’s Odyssey

  1. Phil S July 4, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    καλως ΗΡΘΑΤΕ Oliver! Great to have you on the team.


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