SuCCess Stories: Meet Rosie Nelson ’14!

This post is part of the Career Center’s bi-weekly roundup of alumni success stories. Check out Rosie’s story below, and find more SuCCess Stories here!

8 Questions with Rosie Nelson ‘14

Major: History and Feminist and Gender Studies
Grad Year: 2014
Current Job Title, Organization: PhD Researcher, University of Bristol

What did you do after graduation?

RN: Immediately after graduation, I enrolled in an MRes in Security, Conflict and Justice. I didn’t have funding, so I also worked full-time in a children’s cancer hospital.

What are you up to now?

RN: In September 2016, I was awarded a scholarship to start my PhD in Sociology at the University of Bristol!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

RN: I am now researching bisexuality and queer identities. Specifically, I’m looking at feelings of community and isolation in relation to one’s sexual orientation, and the way in which bisexuals/queer people understand and describe their desire and sexual orientation.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

RN: I love my job so much. I’m paid to read everything I want to read, speak to interesting people in my field, attend conferences and learn all of these fantastic new ideas and speak to people who are studying all kinds of interesting things. I also get to write a lot, which is something I really enjoyed at CC, so I’m glad I get to do more of that now. My department at Bristol is really collaborative and communicative, so it’s a really supportive environment where I get to work alongside peers who are doing radically different projects. It’s always very interesting.

What does your typical day look like?

RN: I roll out of bed at ~mystery time~ because I don’t actually have a schedule, and then get to my office. It’s generally a combination of reading, writing, and e-mailing for most of the day, but there are also various supervisor meetings, teaching opportunities, reading groups, and university events to attend every day. On a special day, I might be in a conference. Recently I’ve been to Chester, London, Paris, Athens, and Washington D.C. with my work.

Has your career path changed at all from graduation to now? If so, how?

RN: I had always wanted to go on to study LGBT identities and work in a field where I can conduct emancipatory research, and help both students in universities and the wider community. My PhD is the stepping stone for me to do that. If anything, my career path has become more crystallized in terms of knowing that this is really what I want to do.

What are the transferable skills you took from your liberal arts education?

RN: So many! I have realized that compared to some of my British peers, CC equipped me with the best skill set. I use all of the usual things you would think; critical thinking, writing, engaged reading, presentation skills and so on. But one of the greatest skills I think CC imbued me with was a sort of proactive productive mania; on the Block Plan, you just have to get things done well in a short space of time whilst you’re also surrounded by all of these opportunities to take advantage of. As a result, I can work really fast, really efficiently, and still look out for other opportunities to capitalize on.

What advice would you give to students looking to find a job in your field?

RN: Start reading now! If you want to do a PhD, you have to demonstrate that there is a gap in the academic literature that your project will fill. At the same time, find someone to talk to who is doing one, or find someone who can mentor you to support your development. In the UK, at least, funding is scarce, so find the pockets of money first! Ultimately, if you’re passionate about your idea and what you’re studying, you’ll likely make an excellent PhD candidate.

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