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Graduate Stories: Museum of Science and Industry’s Lucy Simpson on the success, rejection and freedom that comes with life after graduation

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Featured image: Lucy Simpson

Our new Graduate Stories series uncovers the diverse experiences of Manchester Met alumni, exploring the reality of life after graduation and highlighting career achievements. We shed light on the different paths graduates take, share relatable and honest advice, and provide practical tips for students who may feel uncertain about their next steps.

In 2015, Lucy Simpson completed her studies and earned a degree in English Literature, followed by a Master’s in Contemporary Literature, Film, and Theory in 2018. She has since become an Events Coordinator at the Science and Industry Museum, reminding us that English graduates don’t belong to certain sectors. She offers her advice to final-year students on success, rejection and freedom.

What were the benefits of studying undergraduate and masters degrees?

It was good to get a flavour of all the different things. Narrative approaches to drama approaches to poetry, critical theory. For my Masters in Contemporary Literature, Film and Theory, it was one of the only places that I could find that specialised in contemporary stuff. It felt like a modern and interesting way to look at the subject that merged with my interests.

What led you from Manchester Met to the Science and Industry Museum?

English, unlike some other subjects, doesn’t have an exact route. There’s freedom but there isn’t a clear path. I think English is fundamentally about how people think and what drives them, it’s a wider society thing to me rather than just reading a book. That’s what I took from my degree to then help me shape the career that I wanted. This brought me to where I am now working at the Science and Industry Museum. Whilst Science and English are quite separate, I think that it’s really good to bring different perspectives.

Do you have any advice on being successful in interviews?

It can be a bit of a numbers game, you’ve got to be in it to win it. You have to be sending applications for things that you are slightly under-qualified and slightly overqualified for. Go into that interview situation knowing that you want to get something out of that job as well. There’s a bit of a balance to be struck, rejection isn’t always an absolute rejection.

What does ‘success’ mean to you?

I think success is trying to be happy and fulfilled. People often think that success is reaching the next thing, but at what point are you going to feel happy and contented with the things that you’ve achieved? Success is sitting with the things that you have achieved and celebrating them.

Do you have any advice for final year students?

It seems like graduating and job hunting is the next big thing, but life is full of big things. It will be fine. Don’t worry too much about it and try to just enjoy where you are. You’ve been vastly successful. You’ve done a really good job. Sit there and relish it without worrying too much about what’s next.

About the author / 

Georgia Pearson

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