Which degree did you do and when?
I did a joint honours degree in English Literature and Music, leaning towards the popular music studies end of the spectrum. I graduated in 2010 with a 2:1, achieving a first in my dissertation, which was a study of American popular music (specifically R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen and Wilco) through a Greil Marcus-shaped filter.
Throughout that time, I also wrote for – and later became music editor of – the Leeds Student paper, which allowed me to take a slightly less academic look at music.
What have you done since graduation, and what are you planning next?
Since graduation, my employment history has been unfortunately unrelated to my degree. I have worked at Waterstones, in a library, and am currently an admin assistant for Leeds City Council’s Child Protection department.
Outside of work, I continued to write for The Line of Best Fit (and other online publications and paper fanzines), interviewing some of my favourite bands and singers in the process. I played guitar and sang in various groups, though I am currently, as they say, “between bands” for now.
How did your undergraduate experience help you to progress after University?
The main sense of progression I feel University gave me was a sense of critical thinking and analysis which I now bring to what I write. Researching my essays really helped me to realise the importance of drawing on sources outside of the obvious; I would like to think that this has greatly improved the way I write (and think) about music, and popular culture in general.
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