Collected here are some of the experinces of Sociology Students over the history of the Department.
Naomi Muigua, BA Sociology & Politics 2013
As a mature student, returning to education has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Goldsmiths University provided me the opportunity not only for extending my educational knowledge into the subject area, but also pursuing my personal interests. Studying Sociology and Politics equipped me with deeper insight into complex dynamics of society, an ability to develop ideas using my own initiative and a more tolerant attitude to the people around me. At Goldsmiths, I found myself being inspired and enthused almost every time I went into a lecture.
The platform that I have built with my BA degree has enabled me the ability to work across all interest groups. Since graduating in July, I did two short summer courses: Assessors for Vocational Qualification and PTLLS because I would like to become a community educator and never leave education! I have also been working part-time as the Projects Co-ordinator for the International Relief Foundation. I am now back at Goldsmiths pursuing an MA in International Studies.
My advice to current students is to make the most of your time in Goldsmiths because the 3 years go by very fast. Secondly think through your choice of modules and how they relate to your intended career. Studying at Goldsmiths will push you to your limits, but it is well worth it!
Joan O'Halloran, BA Sociology 2013
What programme of study are you on?
-I was on the BA (Hons) Sociology course.
Can you give us a little bit of info about you; where are you from, what led you to university, why did you pick Goldsmiths?
-I was born in London. I am of Bolivian Aymara and Irish descent. I chose to carry on my education because I wanted to continue reading and learning. and I picked Goldsmiths because of it's reputation for having an excellent Sociology department.Congratulations on being awarded the Goldsmiths Sociology Prize for Outstanding Academic Work 2012/2013. Tell us about the essay you were awarded the prize for.
-The essay was about progress in Latin America and how it could be considered an inspiration for other underdeveloped parts of the world. I mainly spoke about Venezuela and Bolivia and how the current governments are leading the way to a united and strong continent where the people have control over their resources and sociopolitical institutions.
What has been the highlight of your time at Goldsmiths/what is the best thing about Goldsmiths?
-For me, the best thing about Goldsmiths is the library and the seminar tutors who help you with your studies throughout the course.
What advice would you give to a student considering studying Sociology at Goldsmiths?
-My advice would be to start reading from day one and make use of all the facilities and help that is offered to you, as that will make all the difference.
What are your plans after graduation?
-My plans are to go on to do a Masters in Social Anthropology.
Tristan Feather, BA Sociology 2012
“Goldsmiths has been three years of arduous work; a combination of fun and a lot of work. If you get the right combination, you’ll have a great time."
What are your plans now that you've graduated?
“I currently work in a publishing firm. Goldsmiths is a great place and I never worried about securing a job.”
What advice would you give to new students?
“Head to the Students' Union, go to the bar and order a drink and then turn around and talk to the person behind you. They’ll end up being your friend for three years."
Hannah Hintikka BA Anthropology & Sociology 2012
I found work a month after graduation as a Social Media Executive for Generator Hotels and Hostels. I was very lucky since it was the first interview I went for, and my degree definitely helped as working in Marketing, it was very good to have a background in Sociology.
I truly enjoy the work I am doing since we are all a fairly young and innovative team, and I have been able to use much from my Sociology courses as they were to do with understanding how people react and engage with society. Working in the virtual world, having a sociological background has been really beneficial.
Some advice to current students; consider all the courses you do, making sure that they relate to each other as can therefore be easier to have an idea of what you might want to do in the future. Have a good think through in order to link the courses in one way or another, and build on the knowledge you already have. Time management is very important as well. Once in work, you will have deadlines to meet and work to prioritise.
Lastly make the most of the UNI years since it is all over very quickly and I miss it so much. Goldsmiths has truly been a great experience and I would urge everyone to make the most of all the activities on offer, as well as the social part of university life.
Jemima Gamble BA Sociology & Politics 2011
I now work for Clarks as a Marketing Assistant for the kids shoes. Although I hadn’t really considered marketing whilst I was doing my degree, it has turned out to be my dream job because it’s the right mix of research, organisation and also creativity, as I assist on photoshoots with the styling and the creation of advertising assets with the graphics that are produced.
I do think my degree was useful in that I could use it to demonstrate an understanding and interest in why humans behave in the way that they do and also hard work, organisation, planning and research skills, but it wasn’t enough to clinch the job completely. Since graduating last year I worked in a pub, then a factory, applying for lots of jobs thinking my degree wasn’t getting me anywhere…. Until I volunteered full-time for the National Trust for 6 months working with the curation and collections team, a role I absolutely loved.
I do not think I would have got the position I am in now without this ‘extra’ on top of my degree as it’s the same old story, a qualification is not enough without real practical work experience. I wish I got more work experience whilst I was doing my degree, but I think at uni you sometimes feel like you’re in a little bubble.
I think Goldsmiths was fantastic and am so pleased I went there.
Geoffrey Griffiths, MA in Sociology with special reference to Qualitative Research, 2011
I am a retired police officer and my journey at Goldsmiths began in the late eighties, but is just as relevant today. I did Anthropology and Sociology as a mature student and loved every minute of it. Goldsmiths enabled me to understand how culture and society is so vibrant and diverse. It also gave me new life skills and the ability for analytical thinking.
My three years flashed by and after graduation, I decided to do an MA in Sociology with special reference to Qualitative Research. This degree was completed on a part time basis, but was just as rewarding.
Goldsmiths was very kind to me, enabling me to grow as a person and human being. I hope I have been able to share this with my family, friends and colleagues. Goldsmiths in the 21st century is a centre of academic excellence, I still visit and I am still inspired!
Age is no barrier to study, young or old, so good luck and enjoy every precious moment.
Kareem Taylor, BA Sociology & Cultural Studies 2009
Studying Sociology at Goldsmiths was one of the defining experiences of my life.
Apart from enabling me to flourish intellectually it is one of the most socially dynamic places you can encounter. It is both extremely cosmopolitan and friendly, people from every corner of the globe with different experiences, ideas and ambitions. And to have a conversation with any of these persons not only enriches the mind but also initiates lifelong friendships. Additionally Goldsmiths’ reputation for academic rigor ensures that you are highly regarded by employers (I have been!).
Overall Goldsmiths provides an excellent experience in every aspect of university life, it’s intellectually rich, socially stimulating and at the end you would have earned a highly valued and respected degree.
Frederikke Lindhom, BA Media & Sociology 2008
In 2005, I was straight out of a high-school business degree, had recently joined Conservative Future and was signing up for the army after university. Three years later I left high-flying London to work with disadvantaged children and study reproductive rights in post-socialist Vietnam. Change of plans.
It was not about politics - right or left or right or wrong. It is about change and the ability of education to deconstruct, alter or enhance your world paradigm.
It was a BA Media and Sociology degree at Goldsmiths that changed my life direction.
A both deep and broad syllabus conducted by eminent, approachable professors taught me to analyse information that I didn’t know was even questionable. I specifically trained in Goldsmiths’ areas of expertise - human rights, political communication and media discourses - knowledge that was essential for my post-graduate studies and career, but also for navigating an increasingly globalising world.
Goldsmiths’ highly accredited, active and captivating professors and tutors lead me towards an MSc in Gender and Development and returning to Vietnam again, I am now Country Manager of the Shelter Foundation, a foundation that runs shelters and educational programmes for disadvantaged children.
My Goldsmiths degree could have brought me anywhere, but it is an outstanding privilege that it brought me to become a part of ensuring education for others.
Danielle Cavanagh, BA Anthropology & Sociology 2004
Studying at Goldsmiths was a life changing experience both academically and socially; still colouring my outlook to life today.
Since graduating from Goldsmiths I have completed a Masters in Fashion Curation which led to the London Transport Museum commissioning an educational outreach project I designed, using archive transport uniforms as part of a handling collection.
Several years on I am working within a health care setting and currently developing a research project into the life threatening disease of sickle cell. The exhibition will consider a cross-disciplinary approach involving the patients of Homerton Hospital, academics in the field of sociology, medicine and artists. The plan for the exhibition is to grow in financial support and serve as a new exciting platform for sickle cell disease and offer a forum of debate for a considered educational outreach project received across the UK.
Goldsmiths has a strong tradition in working with the local community to broaden access to higher education and lifelong learning and I firmly believe that this approach has given me the tools to foster my own individual interests and curate exhibitions which aim to support marginalised groups.
I have such wonderful memories from Goldsmiths and I have remained in contact with so many of the students/tutors/local residents and for this-Goldsmiths has a special place in my heart.
Rachael Bell, BA Sociology 1997
After leaving Goldsmiths I travelled a bit and ended up in New Zealand where I completed a Diploma in Social Work.
I have spent the last 12 years working in Child Protection, as well as becoming a mother myself, and am now on the verge of the next stage of my studies as I am enrolling in a Master of Social Work programme. I am currently working for an organisation called Child Matters, delivering Child Protection Training and guidance to professionals working with children.
Doing my degree in Sociology definitely equipped me with the underpinnings of my understanding of society, human history and will give me good standing in my future endeavours. It is also great to be able to say that I studied Sociology at one of the two top Universities, and have a degree that is recognised all the way on the other side of the world!
Rob Stringer, Chairman of Sony Music Label Group, BA Sociology 1984From being a bit of an underachiever in a suburban town, the Goldsmiths experience told me I could do something more – and I’m forever grateful.
The best advice I can give to someone thinking of going into the same business? Be a cultural sponge, soak it all up, and remember that passion and excitement are just as important as focus and discipline. I just grew up at Goldsmiths, I blossomed at the place. I did a ‘life course’ and it’s the reason I’ve got to where I am today.