Tracy Metcalfe graduated from Moray College UHI in 2015 with a BA (Hons) in Scottish History. She currently works as a Humanities Lecturer at Inverness College UHI.
What does your job involve?
In my role as Humanities lecturer, I teach Higher History, Higher Politics, History of the Celtic Nations, Politics of the Celtic Nations and Heritage Industry in Scotland. I am currently developing National 5 History which I will deliver in session 2016/17. In addition to my teaching role, I am also Personal Academic Tutor for the NQ Humanities Level 6 group at Inverness College and for a number of undergraduate students who are also based at the college and studying a humanities based degree.
What did you study at the University and how does it relate to your current job?
I studied Scottish History which, of course, relates a huge amount to my current job. However, as part of my degree I also completed a Politics module which has also proved very useful to me. Although I concentrated on Scottish based History rather than British History, I gained an excellent understanding of the topic which, of course, is ideal when it comes to the delivery of lectures.
How did you get into your job?
Whilst I was at university I registered as a student mentor, which involved supporting students who wanted to talk to another student rather than a member of staff; I was the student rep for people studying a humanities degree based in Moray College; and I became a College Champion, where I worked with YoungScot, Skills Development Scotland and Moray College UHI to inform students and raise awareness of the many services available to them. I also became involved with the Student Union and sat on Student Participation Boards at the university, including a group looking at the annual university Teaching Awards.
Once I finished university I began applying for jobs which appealed to me, and when I was first offered an interview, I contacted the Careers Adviser at the University of the Highlands and Islands who talked me through a competency based interview with a focus on the sort of questions I would be asked; the structure of the interview and the kind of candidate they would be looking for. We then went through a mock interview and discussed ways in which my answers could have been better. This meant that when I was called for an interview I was more confident and better prepared, enabling me to be more relax in the interview environment and to concentrate on the interview itself. It worked and I was offered the job!
Not long after I landed my first job after graduation I applied for the job as Humanities Lecturer at Inverness College UHI. I spent three days filling in the application form, was shortlisted and invited to an interview. I was very nervous, and did not think I would be offered the post, so was delighted when I was told I was successful.
Where would you like to go with your career in the future?
I will be starting a MLitt with UHI after the summer in the History of the Highlands and Islands and hope to eventually progress onto a PHD. I love teaching and supporting my students and intend to be in this role for many years to come.
What advice would you give current students in terms of careers and employment?
First and foremost, get involved with associations and groups whilst at university. You will pick up some excellent extra skills and get to meet new people, all of which will provide invaluable experience for you. Also, try and gain some voluntary experience in your area of interest as prospective employers often appreciate the fact that potential employees have worked hard to gain extra experience and developed new skills.