Where are they now: Not all those who wander are lost

Amy Holt, MRes 2014

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Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination

Two and a half years ago, when I started my masters I went into it thinking that academia was something that I wanted to pursue as a career. I now know that was not the right career path for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time studying seals and I gained so much from it, but I quickly realised that I lacked one key thing that was needed… Passion. I realised that if you are not passionate about the thing that you are researching, even just a year spent studying it can seem like a very long period of time. Whilst I do love seals, and have a new found respect from them after studying them, I was not so interested that I could pursue research and academia as a career. I saw the people around me have a real passion for what they did, and they were really excited about the discoveries they made. I did not share that same enthusiasm and I feel that this is something vital for a career in academia. After all, who would want to read a paper or see a lecture given by someone who did not love the thing that they were talking about?

I did love my time doing the masters. Not necessarily for the subject, but for the life lessons I got from it. I matured and gained confidence in my abilities over the year, and being able to work with such incredible people in the seal team at Durham meant that I could develop my practical and presentational skills, which I still use to this day. Most importantly what I gained from my masters was a sense of what I wanted to do for a career. During my masters I was able to help out with the undergraduate practical lessons. Through these opportunities, I realised that what I really wanted to do was teach. So here I am two years later, still a student but this time doing a PGCE and at last I feel that I am doing something that I love. If it weren’t for my time studying seals at Durham I don’t know that I would have found that out as quickly.

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