Beth Giudicessi talks about how Edinburgh became home, running hill repeats up Arthur’s Seat and her wide and varied career after graduation.
MSc, Literature & Modernity, 1900-Present
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Your time at the University
Every day at Edinburgh was a delight. It was one of my greatest joys to live in and get to know that fairy tale of a city, surrounded by our civilization’s intellectual history and working with brilliant minds to craft its future.
Everything in Edinburgh was stimulating: discovering that “coriander” is the same as cilantro; subtracting 12 from my watch until I learned the 24-hour clock; running hill repeats up Arthur’s Seat on the first day I joined the EU Triathlon Club; bantering with co-workers from half a dozen countries during a part-time job at Ness Scotland; being an American girl on a date with an Irish boy in a Scottish cake shop or Indian curry one; looking out across the firth on the train to the highlands when my family and friends visited; wandering the exhibits at the National Library of Scotland and the wynds between ancient streets.
It expanded my world, and my friends, and my mind – yet the connections between them have never felt closer.
What’s more, we’re building a community of Edinburgh alums in the states, and it is great fun to work with fellow graduates and with the University to strengthen its ties to North America, in the context of all that we learned during our time in Scotland.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
After graduating from Edinburgh, I moved to Boston to work in marketing. I spent two years at a tech start up that was acquired by TripAdvisor, the largest online travel community, followed by another year at Harvard University, where I oversaw public relations and communications for the University’s libraries and created editorial content for its Faculty of Arts and Sciences. I left that after a chance encounter that led to a job building the entrepreneur-in-residence program at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm that specializes in early stage and growth equity investments, including technology companies Kayak, Stripe, Airbnb, The Honest Company, Warby Parker and Snapchat.
I learned endless amounts at each but missed the world of arts and letters, so recently moved to Phoenix, AZ, where I am working for a former Harvard colleague to cultivate media relations and strategic communications for Arizona State University. It’s a fascinating, quickly-evolving place that is redefining American education with a focus on outcomes and accessibility. My role is to tell the story of the people, research and impact of private support to the university and of the institution’s arts and humanities programs.
The experience – and nimbleness -- of becoming at home in a new country was not unlike transitioning from tech to higher education to venture capital and back again.
What’s more, we’re building a community of Edinburgh alums in the states, and it is great fun to work with fellow graduates and with the University to strengthen its ties to North America, in the context of all that we learned during our time in Scotland. We eagerly invite local alums across the country to gather for a cup o’ kindness and a round of nostalgia!
Edinburgh a remarkable place. Centuries leave its greatness unaltered, while moments there change lives forever. Live deep and suck out all the marrow; if you’re like me, you’ll miss it every day you’re not there.