Meet our graduates (class of 2017)! It really is amazing where a UH History degree will take you. Alexandra Brown’s research skills secured her a job even before graduating. And not just any job: Alexandra assesses the potential presence of unexploded bombs from the days of the Blitz!
Here Alexandra shares, in her own words, her journey to this intriguing career, and the key skills that ensures that the inhabitants of London and other cities are safe from risk of lingering threats from the two World Wars:
‘I'm a project researcher for a UXO (unexploded ordnance) specialist company in Hoddesdon. We are usually commissioned by companies to do risk assessments based primarily on WWI and WWII bombing, in order to determine if any risk mitigation measures need to be undertaken before works commence. However, I also research Allied ordnance, as there's sometimes a risk from Allied shells or other explosives from anti-aircraft guns, etc. It means a lot of trips to archives and going through bombing records!
I graduated in September 2017 with a First Class Honours in History, but I’d actually got the job already back in July. It is challenging, but my degree has prepared me well for the role.
Going to archives and finding the information I need for a report – for instance, ARP incident records of bombing raids and the damage they caused – is similar to the way I went about gathering sources for my dissertation.
I also write UXO risk assessments, which are similar to essays and my dissertation in that everything I say has to be well supported by the evidence. They’re important, as the conclusions I reach can have big implications for a client’s project! The writing side definitely takes up a lot of my time, but the research is what holds it together.’
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