Naomi Thorne


Naomi hopes to work in the financial services industry. As an intern in the school of history she has learnt the importance of good organisation and time-keeping, and improved her communication skills - essential for explaining the complicated world of financial products and services.

What programme are you studying on?

I am studying single honours history and am currently in my second year.

What do you hope to go on and do when you graduate from the University of Leeds?

After I graduate, I hope to work in the financial services industry. I currently work for a large high-street building society and would like to combine this experience with that gained from my degree to progress in the world of banking.

What skills and qualities do you think you’ve gained from your course?

My course has further improved my ability to communicate, both in the written and verbal form. I am also far better at researching an argument or an issue and presenting my findings to other people. Additionally, my ability to work in a team has been enhanced through group presentations and discussion seminars. A lot of people tend to think a history degree leads only to a limited set of careers such as teaching, heritage or academia, but really the skills that such a degree offers are valuable right across the employment sector.

What skills and qualities do you think you’ve gained from co-curricular activities?

Through involvement with the school of history internship scheme, I have learnt the importance of good organisation and time-keeping. The work is flexible, enabling me to fit it around my degree, but this involves prioritising so that nothing gets neglected. I have also liaised with a variety of different people in order to maximise the opportunity, and although I have never been shy, the chance to improve such a skill is always welcomed.

How will these skills and qualities help you achieve what you want to do when you graduate?

In any job, good time management is essential, especially when you might be taking on your own projects and meeting deadlines and targets. Good communication skills are absolutely essential when working in finance, from explaining complicated products and services to customers to engaging with other staff members as part of a team.

What has been your proudest moment while studying at Leeds?

Probably being successful when applying for the intern position. The school of history is a big, quite anonymous department, so to be recognised by staff within the school as being suitable for a position after a formal interview was very exciting.

How do you think you have benefited from studying at Leeds?

Aside from being a top-class university with a focus not just on academic, but personal development, I feel I am being equipped very well for life after university. In addition, Leeds is a fantastic city with so much to do and see, very different from the small town where I come from.

What advice would you have for students just starting out at Leeds?

University is a time to have fun without a doubt, but it is never too early to start thinking about the future. Even if you have no idea what you want life after graduation to be like, there are plenty of opportunities to find out throughout the course of your degree. The careers centre runs so many events that are open to students from all years that are bound to give you some ideas and checking some of them out while you are not feeling the pressure of graduation looming is the best advice I can give.