Tom Nash's role as President of the History Society taught him crucial skills that he has transferred to his role in marketing for Tesco.
|Year of Graduation||2015|
Your time at the University
I was undecided as to whether I should study at Edinburgh until I came to visit it after I received my offer. Within a few hours, after exploring the city and seeing where I might be studying and living, I was convinced that I had to come here. I had such a fantastic time at Edinburgh over four years. The chance to study at one of the world’s most beautiful and vibrant cities was one I couldn’t afford not to take.
For me, the highlight of my time was my involvement in the History Society. When I first got involved, it was a relatively small society with a limited schedule. I worked my way up in the committee to become President in my fourth year, and when I left it had become one of the biggest societies in Edinburgh with over 600 members every year. Representing history students within the department, the student union and the University as a whole was brilliant. It gave me the chance to organise events for hundreds of people, and to draw together the history community into a single group. It will forever be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and it has given me memories I will treasure forever.
For me, the highlight of my time was my involvement in the History Society... it has given me memories I will treasure forever.
Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University
I’m currently working at Tesco, on an 18-month graduate scheme in marketing. I had always had an interest in a career in the retail sector, but was unsure which specific area I should focus on, and which retailer to choose. I applied for a variety of internships in my third year and was lucky enough to work at Tesco for 10 weeks in an operational department. As a paid intern, I worked on several projects that directly impacted on the business as a whole. It was a great experience, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the it. Afterwards, I was offered a place on the graduate scheme. However, using the contacts I had made while I was there, I was also able to convince them to allow me to switch to marketing. Since joining as a graduate, I’ve been working on several initiatives with Clubcard and generating research that has directly influenced project developments.
My experience in the History Society undoubtedly helped me get the internship, and consequently the graduate scheme. I was able to demonstrate many of the key attributes Tesco look for: leadership skills, empathy, original thinking and resilience. These were all characteristics I had developed in the society, such as leading committee meetings, managing budgets and communicating with members.
Get involved in a society at the University – whether it’s academic, sport or political: any experience will ensure you enjoy your time massively. And if there isn’t a society, create one yourself! It’s the best way to meet new people, make friends for life, and develop skills that will serve you well at university and beyond.