Event summary - Not the Milk Round

by Mia Thwaites (2020, History) – 2 March 2022
Mia Thwaites, current second year studying history, organised our recent 'Not the Milk Round' event. The event was a wonderful networking opportunity to share experiences and inspire our younger members. We look forward to seeing the connections created grow from this and seeing more forged at future events.

On the evening of Wednesday 2nd February, we were able to host our 'Not the Milk Round' Student Careers Event in person for the first time in two years. We aimed to create an informal networking style where students would be able to ask questions and gain career tips in a relaxed atmosphere/ 

Our wonderful speakers, Hannah Gilbert, Chloe Forsyth, and Delyth Scudamore offered valuable insights into the world of their careers, as well as outlining advice they wished they had been given as undergraduates. As Chair of the Women's Network, Hannah welcomed the undergraduates and informed them about the work of the Network, sharing her own career progression through the areas of business strategy, tech and sustainability. She emphasised that finding a workplace that is suitable to your situation and choosing a career that you are passionate about is more important that fitting into a set model of what you believe you should be doing after having graduated! Hannah illustrated the evolution of her own career through her own life circumstances, showing that there is no prescribed model of successful career progression.

Chloe Forsyth, a Partner at Russell's Solicitors, similarly emphasised that there is no set route in creating a career for yourself. Studying Law as an undergraduate, she explained that pressure to plan training contracts and career choices at early stages in her degree was unhelpful, and that taking some time after her graduation to stop and consider her career preferences was crucial. Chatting to students afterwards, she described how the daily structure of a music lawyer is varied, from working with clients to the more intricate task of examining contracts. She emphasised that taking on responsibility on behalf of clients in this manner means that creating strong relationships with those who she represents is essential.

Delyth Scudamore, a freelance Producer, highlighted that being persistent and open in varying career routes is essential to working in TV Development. To enter the industry, Delyth showed how she had to consistently send emails asking for further roles and experience, and that she pushed herself to seek more script reading opportunities in her early stages as a runner. Students were particularly keen to hear about this in her progression from runner to Script Assistant Editor on the set of the TV show Merlin! She offered helpful and relatable advice for entering the industry, whether from the view of script editing, production or costume design.

One of the main takeaways from all three speakers was that no fresh graduate can have their entire career plan mapped out. They emphasised that transitioning from Oxford to the workplace involved an acceptance that it won't be like degree-level, where progress and achievement can be relatively clear cut. This advice was really invaluable , and I think all the students took this on board, as it's understandably easy to get caught up in the Oxford perfectionist bubble.

The event led to some honest, fun and informative conversations between the speakers and undergraduates. Many thanks to Hannah, Delyth and Chloe who generously gave their time to be part of the event! The students definitely appreciated having conversations surrounding career choices in a more open and informative way. 


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