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Patrick Holmes: phenomenal support – University of Reading

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  • Going full circle

    Patrick received unforgettable support during his time at Reading, inspiring him to return following graduation

Patrick Holmes: phenomenal support

Patrick combined his love of ancient languages, history, literature and philosophy to study for his BA Classics at Reading. The wonderful support he received from his lecturers and the Department throughout his degree inspired him to return to Reading to work as a Student Support Co-Ordinator.

"I chose to study at Reading because it offered brilliant and varied course content, on a beautiful campus. I got to study the ancient languages in-depth, and was able to explore new areas of the ancient world due to the wide range of modules on offer. But above all, the support I received during my studies was what made my degree here a stand-out experience for me."


Patrick believes the lecturers in the Classics Department are truly amazing people:

"I really can't stress enough how good the staff in the Classics Department are. They were the key to the wonderful experience I had while studying at Reading."

"All of my lecturers were really friendly, approachable and supportive, not to mention experts in their field. I had some brilliant conversations with them - really stimulating academic discussions which challenged and stretched me to think deeply about the subject.

My lecturers also supported me with any pursuit of research I wished to embark on. They were always available and happy to help with any issues, through their regular office hours, quick responses to emails or booking in private appointments."

supporting personal aspirations

Patrick was able to embrace many opportunities during his degree, due to the support he received from the Department:

"I was lucky enough to study at the University of Bologna, Italy, on a Latin Summer School scheme. I saw the opportunity advertised through the Department and my lecturers supported me in my application. I was also awarded a travel bursary by the Department to help cover my costs which was extremely useful. The main focus of the Summer School was Latin classes, but I also got to visit some local archaeological sites and to study local history in Bologna. I had a great experience studying abroad and was able to apply what I'd learned to my degree when I returned.

In my second year I was also fortunate enough to have an article published in an undergraduate journal. The article started out as an essay for one of my modules - it got brilliant feedback from my lecturer, who encouraged me to submit my work to present at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR). I presented my paper, and the conference then asked if they could publish my work in their journal."

"This was an amazing experience, and to see my name in print was a special moment for me. I'm grateful for all the support I received from the Department in this endeavour."


Following graduation Patrick embarked on a master's before working on a cruise ship that specialised in visiting archaeological sites as a Short Excursions Assistant. But it wasn't long before he found himself drawn back to the University:

"I loved working on the cruise ship which gave me the opportunity to visit all of the amazing ancient sites I had studied at Reading. However, when a job came up in the Classics Department I knew it would suit me perfectly:"

"I knew I would be walking back into a vibrant academic atmosphere, and would be working within a fantastic institution full of interesting things and beautiful places."

Patrick worked as a Student Support Co-Ordinator for the School of Humanities, which incorporates the Department of Classics. He assisted students with queries, and supported them with any  degree-related issues such as essays and deadlines.

"I was thrilled to be nominated by the students and to win the 2017 Reading University Students' Union Excellence Award in the category of 'Support Staff Excellence'. I was so happy to read all the lovely things anonymous students had said about how I go above and beyond expectations to help them. It was tremendously touching - I remember the support I used to receive as a student and I was always very grateful for this, so I am really glad I could help others through an enjoyable and sometimes tough, but formative three years."

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