Monday, 5 March 2012
Career Case Study - Interview with Caroline Sloan
When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology?
Initially I worked for the Special Events dept at Cliveden House Hotel (von Essen Hotels), Taplow. I arranged weddings, private dinners, parties, exclusive use of the property for an assortment of people. I was there when the Gerrard wedding took place - and had a small part to play in organising the wedding! I thought working at Cliveden would enable me to look for jobs within the National Trust whether it was looking after collections or learning how to manage an old property. I never intended to undertake fieldwork as I was always more interested in museums and collections.
However, I moved to New Zealand where I bought a 32 acre cattle farm. I also worked for a law firm and began studying the legal executive course. But after two years living in NZ I decided to move back to the UK.
I am now the office manager for a trade association in the HVACR industry and have started studying MA Archaeology at the University of Reading part time.
I am also a published author. I started writing whilst living in NZ and used my background in archaeology to develop a story based on Brazilian mythology, Scythian warriors and an assortment of crazy happenings as you'd expect from a fantasy fiction novel! The book is called Iara.
How has a degree in archaeology benefited your career?
Having a degree in archaeology has actually been beneficial in every aspect of my varied careers! Archaeology isn't one subject - it's a discipline that encapsulates numerous subjects, theories and concepts. With event and project management, the fieldwork aspect of archaeology comes into play. How do you organise a dig - well, it's the same method as how you would organise an event. There is a fair amount of research that has to be undertaken in an archaeology degree and this is the same when it comes to law. I was learning about intellectual property as part of my legal executive course in NZ and had I not had the background in archaeology, where I knew how to research in detail, I would have struggled!
Would you go back into Archaeology later down the line?
Archaeology is a passion. I love learning about how we developed into the society we see before us. The steps that we took from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a sedentary farming existence to the champions of technology in the 21st century. I am studying archaeology at postgraduate level because I want to learn more. Every archaeologist knows that the past is the key to our future, and I want to be prepared for a future of knowledge and understanding. I will use my archaeology degrees in my future, but it will be for my career as an author. I want to bring archaeology to the 'mainstream' and show them that not all archaeology involves a bulldozer and a time limit. I want people to know that archaeology is a fascinating subject with a future.