Having unearthed a fascination for classical studies while at school, Shona’s curiosity inspired her to explore the legacy of the ancient world in modern culture at Reading – a path that has opened up opportunities to specialise in areas of interest within a supportive community.
Freedom to explore
Shona enjoys the freedom of choosing from a variety of exciting modules at Reading, where she has been able to tailor her specific interests into her studies and discover her career path.
"It has been fantastic having the main focus on Classics, yet having the option to also study Museum Studies modules. I have learnt so much about the history, policy and ethics of museums. I now know that I would enjoy a career that would require me to implement what I have learned in these modules in a practical way."
Classical Studies at Reading allows you to apply your theoretical skills to real-life contexts. Shona took advantage of the work experience opportunities offered at Reading, including working in the our own museum of Greek Archaeology on campus (the Ure Museum).
From her second month of studying at Reading, Shona was given the opportunity to work independently on a small collection of donated objects.
"My responsibilities included the careful handling, photography and cataloging of the objects, so that they could be uploaded onto the museum’s online database. I also helped to repack museum objects into storage. This was a really exciting experience since it allowed me to handle the objects that are not on display, so I may have never seen them otherwise. I also learnt a lot about the practicalities of packing the objects in order to ensure their preservation."
Having the Ure Museum as part of the Department of Classics was a game-changer for Shona and helped build her confidence within her field.
"I also helped school students with educational activities and with the object handling aspect of their visit to the Ure Museum. Now I have progressed to lead these sessions myself, which has been a really significant development for me as it has helped me overcome my unease with public speaking."
A classics community
Shona enjoys the welcoming atmosphere within the Department and joined the Classics Society during her time. She loves being a part of the Classics community and has made many friends who share the same level of interest in the ancient world.
"The Department of Classics at Reading is a community that I really enjoy being a part of. I am a part of the Classics Society which is great for meeting people, with nights out, Classics-themed movie evenings and museum trips on offer."
Shona credits the Department for supporting her and giving her the skills and passion to grow and succeed.
"All of my lecturers are fun, caring and supportive; I always feel like I can speak to them if I ever have any worries about assignments, or general queries. I have often had one-on-one meetings with them in the planning phase of an assignment to check that I am on the right track, and this is always so helpful and reassuring. My personal academic tutor has always been so generous and accommodating, helping me navigate any uncertainties I’ve experienced, which I’m extremely grateful for."
Thinking about her time at Reading, Shona says
"Based on both my experience so far, and on how much I am looking forward to my third academic year, I could not possibly speak highly enough of the Department of Classics at Reading."