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photograph of brooklyn bridge

Phaidra Robinson is a second-year BA Single Honours English Literature student. She chose to study at the University of Reading because she loved the campus and felt that Reading offered her the best choice of contemporary literature modules, in particular Modernism and Twentieth-Century American literature.

"In the first year, I really liked that we could choose modules that we wanted to study and I was also able to select modules outside of my degree. I studied Politics and Biology because I wanted to broaden my university experience."

Discovering unique opportunities

She has enjoyed all of her modules during her time at Reading but particularly loved Twentieth-Century American literature.

A second year module, The business of books will give Phaidra the opportunity to explore the University's literature archives and to complete a placement at Paper + Ink. The module gives students an understanding of the history and future of the book as a form of technology. As a second year Single Honours student, Phaidra has also selected Modernism in poetry and fiction, Restoration to revolution, Early modern theatre practice, and Writing America.

Her placement work is not only desk-based but varied:

"I am really excited about the fact that I will go with my placement organisation to the London Book Fair to work on their exhibition stand."

This Academic placement has been arranged through the Department's career scheme which helps students to build up their CV and skillset throughout their degree, to be fully ready for professional success by the time they graduate.

"The careers scheme was one of the main reasons that I chose Reading. I knew this university would support my career path. I felt like I would just be a cog in a large machine everywhere else, whereas Reading made me feel like an individual."

Phaidra will also complete a Business placement within the Department:

"As a student ambassador for the Department of English Literature, I am completing a social media internship. I will be posting on Facebook and Twitter, setting-up question and answer sessions and hashtags and helping to promote the Department. I will complete the careers scheme before the end of my second year and I will come out of university with not just a degree, but skills and work experience to add to my CV."

Beyond Reading

In addition, Phaidra also finds time to belong to a number of student societies:

"I am co-editor of The Spark, the Student Newspaper, and I also belong to the English Society amongst many others. It's a great way to make friends."

Phaidra's experience in the Department of English Literature has given her the confidence to pursue her future career, either as a scientific journalist or a vet, which was her first love.

"I have matured a lot at Reading. I have learned how to organise and motivate myself and to use all of the resources and support available to me. I am doing something that I love, I am doing a degree that fascinates me and I am receiving loads of support from my seminar leaders and personal tutor."