Alumni Services

Pilar Luque

Pilar Luque remembers her time with a touch of poetic romance, and explains how her Edinburgh education made subsequent career choices much easier.

Name Pilar Luque

French and European History

Year of Graduation 1992
Pilar Luque

Your time at the University

I first went to Edinburgh in August 1986 as I was attending a summer course for translators and simultaneous interpreters at Heriot-Watt University when they were still based in Chambers Street. My own university, Catholic University of Paris, had an exchange programme with them and we were recommended to attend such courses during the summer. I instantly felt in love with Edinburgh and with university life. I enjoyed my first Edinburgh Festival as well as Scottish history and culture. I then decided I wanted to spend a whole academic year in Edinburgh once I finished my degree back in Spain.

I got a grant after numerous interviews and exams and moved to Edinburgh in October 1987, becoming one of the first Spaniards to be part of the Erasmus group of students. I thoroughly enjoyed campus life in Pollock Halls of Residence where I stayed until I graduated in 1992. Everything was new to me as tutorials and essays did not exist in Spanish university life.

Socially, I thoroughly enjoyed the University balls and the Students' Unions, which, again, do not exist in Spain. Edinburgh is also a city where you can feel history in every corner of it. One could imagine John Knox talking to assembled crowds about Mary Queen of Scots, while simultaneously imagining Queen Elizabeth II throwing a summer party at the Holyrood Palace gardens.

And then there's that unique and permanent smell of beer brewing in the Edinburgh air, and the majesty of Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument and Castle Hill, all of them being rocked by the unceasing sound of trains arriving into Waverley Station.

Experience as much as you can and open your ears and mind to the ideas and thoughts of other people around you, especially tutors and older students.

Pilar Luque

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University

Since I left the University, finding a job has never been a problem. Edinburgh has such a high reputation within and outside the United Kingdom that I acquired a very good level of English after living over there for 10 years. People even tell me that they can perceive a little Scottish twang in my spoken English.

During the five years of my professional experience in Edinburgh, I worked in very different sectors: teaching, translating, and sales and banking, all thanks to two main skills I acquired and mastered at the University: essay writing and public speaking.

Once I returned to Spain the main skill which has served me best has been mastering the English language, due to which I have again been able to work in very varied sectors: Education, Internet, Tobacco, Banking, the Media, Gambling, and Oil & Gas.

I currently work as a Translator for Repsol, one of the biggest Spanish Oil & Gas multinationals throughout the world.

Alumni wisdom

Experience as much as you can and open your ears and mind to the ideas and thoughts of other people around you, especially tutors and older students.