Alumni Alexandra Smith talks about life at - and after - UEA Alumni Alexandra Smith talks about life at - and after - UEA

Job Title: Head of Spanish
Employer: Haileybury College
Location: Hertford

Please explain how your career has developed since graduating.
I did a PGCE at Oxford Brookes University. Following this I got my first job as a teacher of Spanish, French and Business Studies at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School and then after three years there gained a promotion to Head of Spanish at Haileybury.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?
Seeing the hard work with the children pay off and them use the language they have learnt in a real context.

What steps did you take in finding employment (e.g. careers centre, job websites, networking events)?
Job website TES.

What are the key skills you learnt at UEA?
My language skills, determination and how to work well with others.

How have they made a difference in your career?
They play a big role in my career. I use them everyday!

What piece of advice do you wish you'd received before you graduated?
To start looking into jobs or different careers sooner and to get more experience in different sectors to make more rounded decisions.

If you use languages in your job, how do you use them and what do you use them for?
I teach 11-18 year olds in Spanish.

What is the professional and personal value you place on being able to speak a language other than English?
Extremely important as it helps a great deal when applying for jobs and it is fantastic to be able to go travelling easily and communicate without stress.

Can you provide a short description of an incident from your time at UEA, your year abroad or your professional life which stands out (language related or not)?
My ERASMUS year abroad, simply fantastic.