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Case Study: Hannah Smith

Personal details
Degree:Classics Profile picture
School(s): School of Classics
Year of Graduation:Jun-2014
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Chatteris Educational Foundation
Job title: Project Coordinator
Occupational Sector: Teaching
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Chatteris is a graduate development scheme based in Hong Kong. I applied when I saw the vacancy in the university careers emails and my application was successful. I've now been working in Hong Kong for 5 months.
What does your job involve ?
Students in Hong Kong are often reluctant to speak English in lessons as they don't want to get things wrong and be embarrassed. I chat to students in an informal setting and teach fun and interactive lessons to help students to relax when approaching English.
What are the best bits of your job ?
My students are great. I work in a design school and teach very creative, confident and driven young people who are really eager to learn.
Why were you successful?
I was really lucky to find the job in the first place, but working with young people through the OTC in St Andrews really gave me the experience that Chatteris was looking for.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
The strong grasp of grammar that Classics instills is really useful for me, especially when students ask why what they have said or written is wrong. English is taught in a very grammatical way here and it helps to understand where the students are coming from.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Teaching abroad is a scary experience and you don't always know what you're going into. I think that an organisation like Chatteris is a great way to start as it brings dozens of graduates together, people who are all in the same situation. My colleagues are great and there is always someone to go out with or something to do- Chatteris also organises activities for us every month. My working hours are very reasonable for Hong Kong, although the exact hours vary depending on the school you work in. I work with 18-25 year olds and work 10-6.