The Change Up
The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 5: Katharina Donn

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 5: Katharina Donn

December 17, 2020

On this episode of The Change Up, James and Megan are joined by Katharina Donn, who is currently a teacher of English at a North London secondary school. Katharina did her PhD in Germany, focusing on trauma and memory in contemporary US culture, and subsequently spent a few years moving between academic and non-academic roles before settling into her current role as a school-teacher.

Katharina is someone who, despite the pressures of her teaching job, maintains a very active research profile. It was really interesting to hear how she balances her enthusiasm for research with the demands of her day job, the challenges she has faced in trying to maintain an active research presence outside of the academy, and how she is able to integrate bits of her own research, or skills and knowledge she developed during her PhD, into her current role.

The Change-Up is part of the Precarity Project, a project aimed at helping UK-based early career Americanists - particularly those on fixed-term or precarious contracts - find their way in, or their way out of, the academy.

Funding for this project is provided by the US Embassy in London, the British Association for American Studies, and the Leverhulme Trust

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 4: Eilidh Hall

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 4: Eilidh Hall

October 16, 2020

For this episode of The Change Up James is flying solo with Eilidh Hall, who is currently working for the Scottish government as part of the Civil Service Fast Stream. The conversation focuses on the specifics of Eilidh's role - both in terms of the application process for the Fast Stream and what her day-to-day role looks like at the moment. More broadly, it covers Eilidh's experiences on transitioning from academia into another career. Eilidh is someone for whom academia was the first choice, so its interesting to hear her talk about navigating that departure - both in terms of a sense of loss, but also finding closure and value in the work she does now.

 

The Change Up is part of The Precarity Project, which is aimed towards helping UK postgraduate students in American Studies or associated disciplines find their way in, or their way out of the academy.

We'd love to hear from you! If you are interested in being interviewed, if you have comments on this or other episodes of The Change Up, or if you have questions about The Precarity Project as a whole, please get in touch via the project website or on Twitter @PrecarityProj.

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 3: Mark Walmsley

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 3: Mark Walmsley

October 2, 2020

On this episode of The Change Up we are joined by Mark Walmsley (@markwalmsley88), who is currently a Lecturer in Humanities and Widening Participation Academic Officer. Mark is someone who has made that rare double shift - moving out of lecturing and then moving back into it again a little bit further down the line - so we were interested to hear about his experiences moving from his PhD to an 'alt-ac' position as a Widening Participation officer, and then how he has found moving back into a teaching role following his move to the University of East Anglia.

Mark provides some really useful details about his work as a Widening Participation Officer and some instructive advice on the kinds of administrative and public service work that PhD students might consider pursuing alongside their research to better equip them for a move into another role following the completion of their doctorate. He also talks about the kind of provisions that were available to him as a PhD student in American Studies, and how relevant the skills he learnt as part of his doctoral work are in his current role.

 

The Change Up is part of The Precarity Project, which is aimed towards helping UK postgraduate students in American Studies or associated disciplines find their way in, or their way out of the academy.

We'd love to hear from you! If you are interested in being interviewed, if you have comments on this or other episodes of The Change Up, or if you have questions about The Precarity Project as a whole, please get in touch via the project website or on Twitter @PrecarityProj.

 

 

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 2: Michelle Green

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 2: Michelle Green

August 26, 2020

This week on The Change-Up, James and Megan are joined by Michelle Green, who currently works as a Research Development officer at a RG uni. Michelle discusses the challenges of her new role, in particular adapting to a team-based working environment, and offers some useful advice on how she was able to demonstrate the applicability of the skills she developed through her PhD for job applications.

 

The Change Up is part of The Precarity Project, which is aimed towards helping UK postgraduate students in American Studies or associated disciplines find their way in, or their way out of the academy.

We'd love to hear from you! If you are interested in being interviewed, if you have comments on this or other episodes of The Change Up, or if you have questions about The Precarity Project as a whole, please get in touch via the project website or on Twitter @PrecarityProj.

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 1: Introducing The Change Up…

The Change Up, Series 1, Episode 1: Introducing The Change Up…

August 11, 2020

Welcome to The Change Up! We're your hosts, Megan Hunt and James West

Part of The Precarity Project - a project about helping UK-based Americanists on fixed-term or precarious contracts find their way in, or their way out of, the academy.

On The Change Up, we will be showcasing the post-PhD careers of a range of different people who have doctorates in American Studies or associated disciplines, but who have not necessarily ended up in a narrowly defined "academic" role as a lecturer or researcher.

Over the next few months we've got some really exciting interviews lined up which will provide practical examples of transitioning out of a PhD into another career. Don't miss it!

 

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