Janneke Dobben

December 5, 2012, by Holly Jackson

From History to …Human Resources

Janneke Dobben, University of Nottingham history alumna.

I wasn’t the most decisive when choosing to study History at University – I flicked from wanting to do English…to Politics…to International Relations… and a mixture of all of them. I started studying History and Politics, but quickly realised this was a false start – I fell out of love with Politics early on…and I just really genuinely enjoyed History. I had no idea aged 18 what I wanted to do, and I figured one of the best ‘decision making’ factors was enjoyment – three years of studying something torturous to lead to a career I hadn’t decided on yet was not appealing.

It’s only since I’ve joined the world of work I’ve realised the true extent of how useful my degree has been and the huge number of transferrable skills that have made me more employable. History has given me an all-rounded skill set – with strong writing skills (needed regularly in my work for report and policy writing); great research skills (giving me an ability to look at a set of problems, summarise them, make conclusions and formulate ideas about how to move the business forward); and communication skills (being able to present my work, talk to people and build up a business network) amongst many others (not least time management!).

Besides the degree I really embraced the possibilities available through the societies at Nottingham. I learnt a lot about teamwork and resilience through a charity hike to Everest Base Camp – and raised over £2500 – a challenge in itself! My positions as Social Secretary of the Hiking Club and the History Society gave me loads of organisational skills – easily transferable into a project management context in work situations. Not only this, they were really good fun, and I met loads of people – a network of friends to help through those dark winter days of coursework and revision!

Read more from other alumni, academics and employers on the Study What You Love pages.

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