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Richard Davie

Barcelona based alumnus Richard Davie talks about finding your niche, late night Fresh Air radio shows and why you shouldn't necessarily tie yourself to a career related to your degree.

Name Richard Davie
Degree Course MChem Chemistry
Year of Graduation 2008

Your time at the University

Richard Davie

I chose Edinburgh simply because I knew it was a good university in a beautiful city. I got heavily involved in Fresh Air, the student radio station and that’s where I made all my lifelong friends.

I was really into the music and club scene; my favourite memories from university would be cycling round handing out flyers to promote events, getting up at 2:30am to go and do a late night radio show and getting to DJ in all the big clubs. That’s the beauty of university and societies; you can find your niche whatever it may be.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

Running a business and teaching is very hard work but at university I learned to be extremely organised and to take a methodical, logical approach to work.

Richard Davie

I remember working incredibly hard to study for and pass the final chemistry exams. I planned afterwards to take a break and spend the summer doing something fun so I went to Barcelona and got a job in a bar. I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish but I was good at studying (as I was fresh out of uni) so picking up the grammar books wasn’t a problem.

After a few months I decided I wanted to stay longer but the novelty of working in a bar had worn off so I did a TEFL course and found work as an English teacher. It turns out I was good at that, so I got lots of experience and after a few years started working as a teacher trainer.

The wages in Barcelona are relatively low so if you want to make decent money (or at least something comparable to a UK graduate salary) you have to go into business. After years of planning and preparation I finally opened my own teacher training academy, TEFL Iberia, and now train people who want to teach English as a foreign language.

Running a business and teaching is very hard work but at university I learned to be extremely organised and to take a methodical, logical approach to work. Admittedly I don’t use any specific knowledge from my MChem degree and people often ask me if I regret doing it but the answer is always a definite ‘no’, as I learned lots of transferable skills, had an amazing experience and met lots of fantastic people.

Alumni wisdom

Put yourself out there, be open to new opportunities and don’t necessarily tie yourself to a career related to your degree.

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