Monday, 20 August 2012

Jeff Aviss - Archaeology Career Interview

We caught up with Jeff Aviss to ask him a few questions about his Archaeology degree and what he's doing now...

Where did you graduate and what are you doing now?
I graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Archaeology in 2008, and I also completed the Masters of Philosophy in Classical Archaeology program at the University of Oxford in 2010. Right now, I’m actually teaching English in Istanbul, but I will be moving to Toronto (my hometown) to work in an archaeological firm as a field technician next month.
When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology? After my Masters I knew I wanted to continue my education with a doctorate, but at the same time, I wanted to take a break for a couple of years. I didn’t at the time really want to start a career in archaeology because I really wanted to travel, so since graduation I’ve been traveling and working abroad as an English teacher in South Korea and Turkey. My goal is to still do a doctorate degree in archaeology and aim for a career in academia, but issues with funding have curtailed that career path. In the meantime, I’m going to hopefully be starting a career in the private sector by working at an archaeological consulting firm in Toronto.

How has a degree in archaeology benefited your career?
Well, I have yet to have a career in archaeology so I guess I can’t really say it’s benefited me in that regard (yet). So far I can say I’ve used it to land teaching jobs overseas. However, I’m excited to be starting a career in archaeology very shortly! I’m sure my degrees have provided me with the field and lab skills that are required to be a productive and effective archaeologist. Hopefully I’ll have a fruitful career in the private sector, but I’m still looking at continuing my education with the eventual aim of entering into academia sometime in the future.

What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
The greatest success for me personally was graduating from the University of Oxford with a Masters of Philosophy in Classical Archaeology through the completion of my dissertation. I put a tremendous amount of effort and work into it and I was so excited it was well received by my supervisors and examiners and helped ensure that if I wish to go back to do doctoral study there I can (funding pending, of course). When I completed my dissertation I really felt like I contributed to the research and advancement of archaeology.

Would you go back into Archaeology later down the line?
I think in some way or another, I will from now on always be in an archaeological related industry; no more English teaching for me. I’m going to try working as a field technician for the first time and I’m sure that I’ll love it because I have worked on several excavations throughout my education (although not paid, of course). Although I am just starting as a field technician, there are also many areas within archaeology and geography that I’d like to learn more about, specifically GIS and AutoCAD that I can see myself taking courses in and trying to utilize towards the benefit of my archaeological career. I’m sure though that no matter what, my future career will always have an archaeological background to it.

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