10 February 2020

My UEA Story: Todd Barry

Todd Barry studied English and American Studies at UEA in the 1980s. We caught up with him recently to see what he's been getting up to since then, and how he remembers his time in Norwich.

I worked in the SU bar (Fifer's Lane) and they offered to pay me in beer. I think that worked out better for me than it did the bar. 

What have you been up to since you graduated? 

I had to leave UEA a week early to help my family open their new seafood restaurant on Cape Cod - Moby Dick's. In May we'll open for our 39th season, and in that time, we've opened another restaurant and gift shop too.

Todd Barry 2021What was your ambition for your career when you started at UEA? Did you have a specific career path in mind?

I always wanted to travel, and I love history, especially war related history - which is something my dad introduced me to. It's still a passion of mine and I visit battlefields all around the world. I always wanted a job that would let me travel. I tried a few office jobs and graduate trainee schemes, but they just weren't for me, so the restaurant with its seasonal opening made perfect sense. 

Tell me about your experiences studying at UEA

My US School (Franklin & Marshal College, Lancaster, PA) encouraged me to apply to LSE and other London universities. Luckily, I didn't get in to LSE, so UEA was offered and it was the best thing I have ever done. If I had gone to London, I would have been surrounded by other US visiting students. At UEA I could still travel to London, Cambridge and all around the UK and Europe whilst being really immersed in the British experience. My experience at UEA was a transformational time for me. It was an incredible experience!

Did you participate in any extra curricular activities while studying at UEA?

I worked in the SU bar (Fifer's Lane) and they offered to pay me in beer. I think that worked out better for me than it did the bar. 

Has your degree influenced your career?

My degree cemented my love of travel and of England, and my hobbies and interests too. Broadening my horizons as an international student has influenced my whole life.

What person or professional achievements are you most proud of?

I’m proud of running a successful business for 39 years, for looking after my staff, and for expanding the business too. I’m proud I was able to have a work/life balance and do something I love.

What were your experiences of Norwich as a city? Is there anything in particular that you miss or have fond memories of?

The pubs! The Adam and Eve, the Louis Marchesi, The Bell Hotel, The Murderers, etc., etc. I especially miss the Friday night Magdalen Street pub crawl which started at The Artichoke and ended with late night burgers at Zak’s! In Tombland there was Pizza 1 and Pancakes Too! I loved wandering the market, the city, and Norwich cathedral too. I wish I could go back in time.

Todd Barry at UEA

Would you recommend studying at UEA? Why?

Yes! You get to be part of British culture, not just a tourist. Norwich (and East Anglia) offers a great blend of city, countryside and seaside. And London is only a couple of hours away by train. Furthermore, my tutors were warm and helpful, and the University campus is so approachable and welcoming.

Is there any advice you would give to current students wishing to follow a similar career path to you?

The best advice I can give is try and experience as many things as possible. You’ll find out what you like and what you don’t like. Sooner or later a “lightbulb” will go off and you’ll realise “this” is for me. In other words, find something you love to do, and everything will fall into place.

What is next for you?

More travel and hopefully, and as soon as possible, a trip back to Norwich and UEA. And a few pints at The Maid’s Head!